Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Got Mold? What Every New York Homeowner Needs to Know

Posted on Thu, Jun 02, 2011 @ 05:19 PM
mold,mold removal,mold abatement,mold remediation,long island,new york,indoor air quality,mold contaminationLong Island and the rest of New York and the Northeast was devastated from the recent flooding caused by torrential rain, wind, and storm damage. A majority of flooded basements across Long Island were caused by ground water due to over-saturation of the earth.  Insurance companies do not cover ground water under their policies. 

You have to have a separate Flood Insurance if you fall into the Flood Coverage Area.  And that only covers ground water damage to structures that are above grade.  Basements are not above grade so they would be excluded from those policies if they were flooded. 

That means there were many Long Island homeowners that had flooded basements that were not covered by their insurance policy.   

For some people this is too much.  There are a lot of people in hardship right now across Long Island due to the economic times we live in.  If they did not hire a professional restoration company or water damage cleanup company like Advanced Restoration Corporation, they had to extract / remove the water themselves or rely on friends and/or family to help them out.

Just because the water is removed, does not mean your job is over.  The wet porous building materials need to be removed, or dried along with the structural wood members so their moisture content levels are reduced to regional acceptable standards.  
And some people will just ignore the water in the basement or the leaky roof, thinking it will dry out on its own.  And technically, everything that gets wet will eventually dry, if it can.  And not every water intrusion causes severe mold contamination.  It all depends on the size of the area and the lenght of time the area has been wet without any attention.  

At this  point you should ask yourself this:
  • How long will it take?
  • Can the wet building materials dry out before mold contamination can occur (usually 48-72 hours in optimum conditions)?

If wet building materials are not addressed in a timely fashion then the problem magnifies exponentially over time until it becomes a much bigger and more expensive issue.

The issue of mold has always been an extremely hot topic in both the insurance and restoration industries. Over the past few years there has also been a great deal of media attention on the subject of mold remediation. Articles have appeared in major publications such as The Wall Street Journal as well as televised on popular shows such as 48 Hours, Primetime and even Oprah. In some cases, a homeowner is shown speaking to a reporter explaining how the mold has completely ruined their home and belongings to the point that the home had to be burned down by the local fire department because there was no other way of solving the contamination issues.

This type of media attention may help with ratings and sales of newspapers and magazines but it is certainly not realistic. It is important to understand that mold is ubiquitous and the goal of remediation is to bring the indoor air quality to an acceptable level.  Should moisture be introduced into the indoor environment, mold growth will likely occur.  In nearly every case of fungal contamination, a home and many of its contents can be cleaned of mold growth. What is never mentioned is how this can be achieved. We can recommend and apply several proven techniques such as "HEPA sandwich" cleaning or baking soda blasting. Because the media is not educated in the field nor do they fully understand, the public is often misled and does not understand the very real dangers of fungal contamination.

Another way to look at the current mold situation is to compare it to the asbestos issues we encountered in the 1970's and 1980's. The media was undoubtedly responsible for magnifying the fears of the public. As the demand for abatement quickly increased many companies rushed to capitalize on the situation without being experienced or formally educated. This in turn leads to bad advice and overreaction. If mold remediation contractors are able to accurately educate and communicate with homeowners and insurance companies these issues could be resolved without unnecessary expense and anguish.

Mold contamination and mold remediation may not be as bad as the sensationalized media makes it out to be. Although there is definitely some health risks associated with mold exposure, in particular Stachybotrys or black mold, it is important that it is dealt with appropriately. Regardless of the level of contamination to your residential, commercial, or industrial building on Long Island and New York City, you can rest assured that we posses the technology, education and ability to successfully complete your project in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Please do not hesitate in calling us for information or guidance on any of your mold related projects. We are here to help in any way possible. We are members of the Indoor Air Quality Association and hold our certifications through the IICRC and RIA.

Please do not hesitate to Contact Us for any assistance or guidance if you have or even think you have a mold issue in the Long Island and New York City areas.  We would be more than happy to speak with you.


Tags: mold abatement, long island, mold, new york, mold remediation, new york city, mold removal, indoor air quality, flooded basements, wet building material, mold contamination

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