Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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NY1 For You: If You Had Flooding, You Probably Have Mold

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Dan Kass, Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Health, said that if you were flooded from Sandy, you most likely have mold. NY1's Susan Jhun has the story.

Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Health Dan Kass said that those who suffered from flooding during Sandy probably have mold in their homes.

He said the first rule of thumb when dealing with mold is when in doubt, throw it out.

"Anywhere that had water saturated in it now has organic material, it has moisture -- and those are the two things it needs for mold growth," Kass said. "So what we're saying to people is the most important thing to prevent mold is to get the material out that can grow mold."

The second most important rule, Kass said, is to let the area dry out.

You can accelerate drying by using dehumidifiers, turning up the heat and keeping windows cracked open. For large mold removal projects, Kass recommends using a licensed contractor. However, he says a mold specialist is not required.

“Contractors are all schooled in how to do proper controls. They may not be mold experts but they know how to remove materials, they know how to clean them, they know how to reinstall and they know how to dry out and they know how to suppress dust," Kass said. "Mold is a form of dust, it's hazard for people who are sensitive to it is by breathing it in.”

Which is why for small projects, Kass says you can do it yourself but you should always wear a dust mask, N95's in particular. Also wear gloves, glasses and a coverall if possible..

For more tips on how to safely remove mold, you can log onto the city's health portal at nyc.gov/health.

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