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Mold Still a Problem After Superstorm Sandy [POLL/AUDIO]

Almost a year after Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on thousands of homes, many are still wrestling with mold problems, even after rebuilding.

Mold
Mold (Flickr User carlpenergy)

In fact, if materials aren’t properly dried out, mold can recur anywhere, especially in those homes that suffered water damage due to Sandy.  Paul Lioy, director of exposure science at the Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, said mold needs two things to survive.  “One is food, which things like wallboard is, and two is moisture.”

Lioy said after Sandy flooded homes and the waters receded, it was a good rule of thumb for the home remediation effort to measure about a foot or more above the high water mark for replacing wallboard and other structural components.

Pittstown home inspector Frank Vadraska said some homeowners may have been taken in by fly-by-night contractors who promised a quick fix without effectively dealing with mold.  “There are a lot of companies that are questionable.”

Homeowners may have also taken on some of the work, but lacked the knowledge to properly remove mold.

Another lingering problem is a lack of standards for defining acceptable mold levels. Currently there is legislation in Trenton to establish mold levels, but it is still a work in progress.

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