Advanced Mold Diagnostics, LLC is an environmental consulting company located in Broomall, Pennsylvania.
It has been almost a year and a half since Hurricane Sandy struck the northeastern United States, most notably New Jersey, bringing with it millions of dollars’ worth of damage including lost structures, flooding, mold growth, etc. The project to restore the shore as well as other parts of the state has been a successful one generally speaking and is a program that has gained nationwide attention because of how quickly New Jersey was able to bounce back unlike many other events that cause large-scale damage like Hurricane Katrina. The Garden State was able to open its shore town boardwalks this past summer and many of the damaged homes have been repaired. Funnel cakes and zeppoles were enjoyed by many down at the shore as if nothing had happened. Lives, for the most part have gone back to normal, but unfortunately there are still issues that are lingering in New Jersey after the storm, and some are more apparent than others.
If you decide to take a ride out to the shore this Winter or in a few weeks once Spring is here, you will see that there are many beloved shore spots that are still in desperate need of repair. Just the other day we were in Pt. Pleasant taking a look at the Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, covered in snow mind you because of this crazy weather. Dreaming about Spring, we walked down the boardwalk and noticed that pieces were still missing. Parts of the sand dunes are still overtaking parts of the walkway. We drove down to Mantoloking to cross the bridge and you can still see pieces of homes resting underwater in the channel. The fact that New Jersey has come a long way is true, but seeing this destruction still very present proves that the area has a long way to go.
Seeing all of this damage that is still present firsthand made us think about all of the homes in the area that must still be dealing with issues including mold growth. If the state has yet to be able to help the towns that bring them revenue and visitors, then just imagine all of the people out there who have not received the home repairs that they need. Sandy, for homeowners, did everything from blow out windows or debris onto houses, to flooding, to actually completely destroying homes. For those who dealt with exposed walls and flooding, mold could be a real issue and needing mold remediation may still be on the list of repairs that these homes have yet to receive.
The state of New Jersey recognizes that mold is a real issue and that there are many homes within the state that could still be in need of a serious mold remediation.
Mary O’Dowd, the state Department of Health commissioner was quoted saying, “After Sandy, a lot of homes had water damage, and whenever you have a situation where water has damaged a physical structure, there’s the potential for a mold problem in the future.” She launched a public awareness campaign after Sandy for the state to warn residents about the dangers of mold growth and how to remediate it. Federal aid has been awarded to the state Health Department to teach groups and homeowners how to remove mold as well.
When looking at the potential mold situation that you may or may not have now as a result of Hurricane Sandy, it is important to make sure that when you are pulling apart structures in your home and looking for potential mold growth, that you wear the proper gear to do so. “Anyone who’s doing this on their own, we want to make sure they’re protecting themselves by wearing the appropriate protective equipment such as masks, goggles, gloves,” says the commissioner. The Health Department website has an entire brochure on how to properly perform a mold clean up and the risks that are involved with taking on this task available on their website.
O’Dowd says that, “It (mold) can be very irritating, particularly to your eyes, to your nose, so it’s almost like you’re having an allergic reaction,” when talking about what it is like to work around mold without the proper gear. This is why safety is crucial when dealing with mold, and it is always a good idea to get the help of a professional instead of taking on the mold removal task on your own.
In regards to the damage left behind still over a year after the storm, O’Dowd says that the state has made great progress but still has a long way to go. There are many homes in New Jersey that suffered water damage that have not been addressed by their owners. When in doubt about how to tackle a mold situation, if something is wet or was exposed to water at any time, chances are you should throw it out. It is not worth the health risk or the risk to the rest of your home.
If you are one of the homeowners in New Jersey who still has not repaired or looked into a mold problem post Hurricane Sandy, it is time that you do so. Check out our recent article on some of the side effects of storm related mold if you are having doubts. For more information or questions, call Advanced Mold Diagnostics.
Are you a homeowner who was affected by Superstorm Sandy? We would love to hear your story below in the comments and would be happy to answer any mold remediation questions that you may have as well.