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Flooding Raises Concerns Over Mold in Homes

The recent rainfall in Springfield could be affecting your house and your health. September is National Indoor Toxic Mold month and KSMU’s Katie Easley spoke with some experts about the dangers of mold growing in your home.

Heavy rains often equal flooded basements. Ron Wegrzyn , owner of PuroClean Restoration Services, says if your basement floods, it’s important to take action to prevent mold from growing right away.

“The most important thing to remember is any time you have water damage, whether it be weather related, or just something leaking in your home, the most important thing would be to get your home dry as quickly as possible. It doesn’t take very long for mold to start growing or other bacterial growth. It can start growing within 24 hours,” says Wegrzyn.

Wegrzyn says to remove any standing water and wet carpeting. He says when high humidity, darkness, and low temperatures combine mold can start growing anywhere without a person even knowing it, causing potentially serious health problems.

“First health consequences you can look for are itchy eyes and respiratory issues. It can definitely get more serious and cause further respiratory issues, which is why it is important to get it taken care of quickly,” says Wegryzyn.

Another man who knows his mold is Rich Lee. He’s and Industrial hygienist and owner of Lee’s Safety and Environmental Services. He says there are ways to prevent mold from appearing in the first place.

Those tips include: good maintenance on your home, caulking all your windows, purchasing a low cost humidity gage so you can check your humidity and make sure its staying around 40-50 percent.

Lee also says making sure your gutters extend at least ten to twelve feet away from the home and adding a dehumidifier to your basement will also reduce the risk of mold. According to Lee by the time you smell the mold in your home, it is already ten times the count it should be.

“Humidity in the home is very important. Typically it should be 40-50 percent but what were finding in the last couple years with a lot of the elevated rain counts we’ve had a lot of homes are getting water under them and we are finding them exceeding 80-90 percent under the house and maybe 70 percent in the house,” says Lee.

If you suspect your home could have a mold problem, these experts recommend having a professional come check the levels to prevent it from spreading.

For KSMU News, I’m Katie Easley.