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Residents asked to be aware of mold in homes affected by floods

Posted: 5:17 PM, Apr 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-23 18:17:13-04
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Water and time means mold isn't far behind, says the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Mold in homes and buildings with flood damage need to be handled with caution and a professional may need to be called in to ensure safety.

“The first thing a home or business owner must consider is safety,” says Doug Gillespie, with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “Re-entering your home after a flood can be quite dangerous. Then, if you can enter your home and there is mold present, it can affect your health.”

Exposure to moldy, damp environments can have a myriad of health impacts. Those sensitive to molds may experience nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, and in some cases, skin irritation.

Those with compromised immune systems or chronic lung illnesses may get serious infections in their lungs if exposed to mold.

The following is how to solve mold issues, according to a press release from NEMA:
Your next step will be to figure out if you can do the mold cleanup or if you will need a professional. For many Nebraskans, the current flooding will create a problem that is simply too big to handle without professional assistance.

If you were not able to dry your home (including furniture and other items) within 24-48 hours, you should assume you have mold growth. You need to completely dry everything, clean up the mold, and make sure you don’t still have a moisture problem.

Mold can appear on newly replaced-drywall if wood studs were not completely dry before installation.

Before you start cleanup activities, contact your insurance company and take pictures of the home and your belongings. Remember – drying your home and removing water-damaged items is your most important step for preventing mold damage.

Mold due to floods can be extensive and may require a mold remediation professional to tackle the job. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that trained mold remediation professionals do the mold cleanup if mold growth covers as little as a 10 foot by 10 foot area.

The amount of work you can do for yourself will depend on your capabilities and you may need help with an even smaller area.

Just be sure to take safety precautions when working around mold.

Finding a mold remediation professional can be done by searching for ‘hiring a mold remediation professional’.