Unprecedented levels of flooding struck Colorado earlier this month, leaving eight people dead and countless more with damaged, if not destroyed, homes. But, like Hurricane Sandy last year, the danger continues to persist long after the waters have receded, with conditions in the area now ripe for a mold outbreak.
According to USA Today, the disaster – being described by scientists as a once-every-hundred-years occurrence – wreaked havoc on 2,000 houses and washed out hundreds of miles of roadways, leaving whole communities blocked off from both escape and aid. And while the historic rainfall and flooding has now passed, the waters have left behind untold amounts of flood damage and mold that can pose a continuing health risk to residents.
Dr. Connie Price of Denver Health told local news affiliate NBC 9 News that, while mold typically grows in dark, damp areas like basements, the extent of the flooding means that mold spores "could be growing almost anywhere," ranging from furniture to drywall to ceiling tiles to every possible flooring. As Dr. Price tells the source, the rule of thumb is that if something in your house is wet and has been for more than 48 hours, it needs to be thrown away. If left alone, the material could foster unhealthy levels of mold growth, which can cause respiratory problems for even the healthiest people but can especially harm those already suffering with breathing problems.
While residents in the Virginia area may be unaffected by this particular disaster, mold exposure is a very real threat to any home. Consider scheduling an appointment with local Virginia home inspectors in order to have mold testing performed on your property, to identify and resolve any potential mold outbreak before it can become a health risk.