The Bluegrass State may want to change its moniker to “The Greenmold State” after abnormal amounts of summer rain flooded the city, leaving many residents with a serious mold problem.
According to The Courier-Journal, the Louisville Metro Health and Wellness department is releasing data showing mold complaints have spiked in the past four years as flooding has caused water damage in hundreds of homes.
“Mold cases are rapidly growing, especially this summer due to the frequency of storms and floods, eventually causing water damage to buildings,” said Dave Langdon, a spokesman for the city’s health department.
Residents of homes in the Kentucky flood plain were told to cut out four feet of drywall after removing everything from the house, and let air from the windows air out the drywall and cabinetry.
This seems like a lot to ask the average citizen who has no experience in drywall or mold removal. Professional mold inspection and restoration is highly suggested whenever dealing with something as serious as the flooding Louisville experienced.
“Generally speaking, if a small amount of mold is found (less than 10 square feet) you can handle the problem yourself if you’re comfortable, as long as a moisture problem isn’t present,” says Brian Thurston, Certified Mold Remediation Specialist, Pro-Clean Services. “In a situation where a large area of mold growth has occurred it’s necessary to have a professional handle it. Mold remediation professionals follow strict guidelines for the removal and containment of mold to avoid spreading mold to unaffected areas of your home through use of HEPA air filtration systems and negative air containment which trap any mold spores released during remediation.”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold can have some harsh side effects, ranging from minor allergic reactions to asthma attacks and skin rashes.
The Metropolitan Sewer District also gets involved in helping locals who suspect water damage in their homes, alleviating some of the burden of the city’s health department.
Steve Tedder of the MSD says that it’s very common for heavy flooding to result in a higher volume of calls for mold remediation.
According to Tedder, from 1954 to 2004, the city had 20 events of heavy precipitation with rain measuring greater than 3 inches, and 2005 to 2015 saw 11 events of rain greater than three inches.
“Mold remediation professionals also use proper personal safety equipment to prevent exposure and cross-contamination by spores carried on clothing,” Thurston continues. “Cross-contamination of unaffected areas can cause mold to spread throughout your home and turn a small problem into larger issue that may not be corrected easily. In extreme cases the spreading mold may result in a total loss of your property. A well-established Mold Remediation Company will carry Pollution Liability Insurance to cover this scenario if it should ever happen, which is another good reason to not go at it alone and should also be a deciding factor in which company you hire.”
Hopefully Louisville residents seek the professional help they need to completely rid themselves of this mold epidemic. “The Greenmold State” just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as their current nickname.