Hurricane Ida leads to Lehigh Valley residents facing mold resulting in serious health problems

Written by on September 7, 2021

Hurricane Ida leads to Lehigh Valley residents facing mold resulting in serious health problems

by Megan Frank

September 7, 2021

Vehicles are under water during flooding on Main Street in Norristown, Pa. Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 in the aftermath of downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida that hit the area. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

People around the region are still cleaning up from flooding after last week’s severe storms.

Joe Kozacheck, co-owner and president of Air Care and Restoration in Bethlehem, said all of that water can lead to mold growth which is why he says damp walls should be dried out right away.

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“If you have flooding in your home, the first thing that you’ve got to remember is that aspergillus penicillium mold spores are already present in groundwater,” Kozacheck said.

People can’t alway smell mold, he said. Soaking up the water and running dehumidifiers and fans helps but in most cases mold hides behind drywall, he said.

“A lot of people make a mistake and they just point fans on the drywall and they still get mold growth because the wood behind there is still wet,” Kozacheck said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold can cause health problems like sneezing, coughing, asthma attacks and even permanent lung damage. 

“Unfortunately, in many, many cases that I deal with the people already are not feeling well, and that’s when they call us because they think that they have mold,” Kozacheck said.

Mold colonies have a growing period of five to seven days, he said, so damp walls should be dried out right away.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a list of tips to deal with moisture and mold inside homes and buildings. 

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