In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, homeowners struggle with mold outbreaks

Three weeks after Hurricane Sandy tore through the East Coast, homeowners are struggling to salvage their belongings, fix their houses and combat increasing health issues due to a series of mold outbreaks.

According to New York Daily News, Brooklyn resident Michael Scotto is realizing firsthand just how menacing mold can be as he deals with cleaning his 78-year-old mother's house. The house was flooded from floor to ceiling with sewage, leaving behind fuzzy mold spores on the ceilings, walls, floors and furniture.

Scotto's neighbor, who identified herself as Ilana, told the news source that she witnessed sewage gushing out her toilet and flooding the entire basement. Fortunately, with the help of a cleanup company, she quickly removed the mold and disinfected her home.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to mold can cause mild to severe health problems such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, fever and shortness of breath. In some cases, even death can occur. Hiring a home inspection contractor following a natural disaster is a good way to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible.

"I am afraid for everyone because they don't know what is happening right in front of their faces. I am scared for my life, too," Marty Novitsky, a lifelong Brooklyn resident, told the news source. "Who knows what even a few months or a few years could do. What if in a few years I get lung cancer and find out it was from the mold?"

If left untreated, mold can become a serious issue, and lead to potentially dangerous health problems. The worst part is, some homeowners don't even know they have it until it turns into a full-on outbreak. If your house has been affected, or if you just want to be proactive, a home inspection contractor can perform mold testing to help you determine next steps. If you're in the Maryland or Washington D.C. area, consider contacting Alban Inspections to help with all your home inspection needs.