It's been a rough winter in many parts of the United States, with a number of storms leaving behind several feet of snow. And, although many people think the worst is over once a blizzard subsides, the truth is that melting snow can cause its own inconvenient and potentially dangerous problems for homeowners.
In a March 1 press release, ServiceMaster Clean, a company that provides disaster restoration services, reminded people that as the snow turns to water – particularly if it does so rapidly – the liquid can seep into a house through a basement, a crack in the foundation or a leaky roof. Any time moisture gets into a property, mold can begin to grow and thrive.
Not only can this hazardous fungus destroy wallpaper, wood, drywall and other materials, but, says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), long-term exposure to it may cause moderate to severe health problems – particularly for those who suffer from asthma and allergies.
According to ServiceMaster Clean, the best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from entering the house in the first place, which requires people to be proactive when they anticipate a storm.
"Before it snows, clean gutters, downspouts and drains around the home so water can flow freely. Seal up holes or leaks in the basement, and make sure the roof, soffits and fascia are in good shape," states the press release.
If water does enter your house, try to remove it within the first 18 to 24 hours before it gets a chance to cause any significant damage.
In some cases, mold isn't visible to the untrained eye, which is why it's essential to have a home inspection contractor perform mold testing before you purchase a new house.