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Homes Still Wet after Sandy & Indoor Air Quality Becomes Hot Topic

Ten weeks after Hurricane Sandy later and our homes are still wet, some rebuitt, while others sit and wait. Here are some helpful tips.

10 weeks later homes are still wet, and indoor air quality becomes a hot topic.

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually.

When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive.

There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed.

There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

Dry Out Your Home
Excess moisture in the home is an indoor air quality concern for three reasons: 

  1. Microorganisms brought into the home during flooding may present a health hazard. These organisms can penetrate deep into soaked, porous materials and later be released into air or water. Coming in contact with air or water that contains these organisms can make you sick.
  2. High humidity and moist materials provide ideal environments for the excessive growth of Microorganisms that is always present in the home. This may result in additional health concerns such as Allergic reactions.
  3. Long-term increases in humidity in the home can also Foster the growth of dust mites. Dust mites are a major cause of allergic reactions and asthma. Be patient. Drying your home could take several weeks. Until your home is reasonably dry, damage caused by mildew and decay will continue. The musty odor will remain forever if the home is not thoroughly dried out well.  

 

Walls
Wash and disinfect the studs and sills if the wallboard and insulation had to be removed. If you are going to rebuild the walls, remember that metal studs and sills are not damaged by water as much as wooden ones. 

Lower the Humidity
Everything will dry more quickly and clean more easily if you can reduce the humidity in the home.There are five ways to lower the humidity and stop the rot and mildew. But you’ll have to delay using some methods if you have no electricity before you attempt to restore the utilities.) 

Open up the House
If the humidity outside is lower than indoors, and if the weather permits, open all the doors and windows to exchange the moist indoor air for drier outdoor air. Your body will tell if the humidity is lower outdoors. If the sun is out, it should be drier outside.

If you have a thermometer with a humidity gauge, you can monitor the indoor and outdoor humidity. On the other hand, when temperatures drop at night, an open home is warmer and will draw moisture indoors. At night and other times when the humidity is higher outdoors, close up the house.  

Use Fans
Fans help move the air and dry out your home. Do not use central air conditioning or the furnace blower if the ducts were under water. They will blow out dirty air, that might contain contaminants from the sediment left in the duct work. Clean or hose out the ducts first.  

Run Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers and window air conditioners will reduce the moisture, especially in closed up areas. 

Use Desiccants
Desiccants (materials that absorb moisture) are very useful in drying closets or other enclosed areas where air cannot move through. 

Rebuilding Tips
Give your house plenty of time to dry. Many problems result from rebuilding after a flood before everything dries. If it takes a week for the visible signs of moisture to disappear, allow at least another week for the parts you cannot see to dry. Don’t try to force a swollen door to close. Don’t force wooden parts to fit. When completely dry, the wood may regain its original shape.

Remember
DO NOT ALLOW your home to be rebuilt on dirty, damp contaminated building material.

If you or some one you know that needs help in detecting moisture and want to know for sure that their home is DRY and ready to be REBUILT.

 

Call me for Free moisture readings.

Call or text if you have questions and to set up your free moisture reading ask for me, Bob Deacon @ 631-974-7034 KNOW THAT ITS DRY WITH Detection Equipment not by saying, looking or feeling......get it checked and certified.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Robert Deacon January 18, 2013 at 08:42 PM
for more info call this free consumer awareness message toll free 24/7 and learn more about how to deal with the mess Sandy left behind! 1-855-92-ALERT (25378)
AnnMarie Amato January 23, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Bob, I want to thank you for taken the time out of your time to come to our home and assure us if there was still moisture in the home. You were honest and sincere. You listened, and gave us some great information on what to do before we rebuild. You educated us on how and what to do for properly clean up our walls and beams. We conquered it! I can already feel the air quality in our home a lot fresher and I am almost ready to rebuild. Sincerely, AnnMarie and Pete Amato
Robert Deacon January 25, 2013 at 03:25 PM
I'm so glad that you found the advice to work for you and you family. Remember to have me back to recheck your air quality. Stay well

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