After Sandy, flooded building owners return to combat mold infection

Now that most of the superstorm Sandy flood waters have receded, building owners and families in the area are working hard to get back into their homes/buildings to combat the possibility of mold infection.  Musty odors, water stains, discoloration and warping of materials are all signs that your building structure may indeed be infected with mold.   Mold can spread quickly and cripple the structure of a building as well as pose a health risk for those exposed.  It is not easily gotten rid of either.  Porous materials such as carpet padding, drywall, and even structural wood need to be fully replaced or stripped and sanded and then disinfected to ensure that the mold will not affect your home in the future.  Furthermore, mold damage is rarely covered on an insurance policy with most cover depending on the source of the moisture that encouraged it’s growth.  Some policies go one step further and exclude mold damage from the agreement all together.  Mold claims arising from storm flooding in most cases are handled under a separate flood insurance policy.  Additional coverage for mold damages is sometimes available from your insurer but again it is not standard on most policies.  The cost of mold removal varies depending on the amount of damaged materials and the length of time it will take to complete the job.  Many homes damaged by Sandy need to be fully gutted before rebuilding can begin in order to ensure a solid, mold free home for the future.  New Jersey residents who are in the process of cleaning up their homes can call in to a local public health expert with questions on mold removal.  The Dept of Health is also maintaining a list of approved environmental consultants that can assess mold damage and estimate costs of mold removal.  NYC Dept of Health has a wealth of information re: interior mold damage HERE.

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