Flooded homes need mold-proofing before winter-proofing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flooded homes need mold-proofing before winter-proofing

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Summer floodwaters ravaged homes across the state of Iowa, and many of those homes' owners are still working hard to winterproof before the cold weather arrives. But as those residents work to repair the visible damage, what they can't see may be harmful.

Mold, while in some cases can be deadly to certain people, more commonly causes allergic reactions in people with lowered immune systems, or who have asthma or allergies.

We spoke with Larry Omann, who has done a lot of work to prepare his home for the winter, and keep the mold away. "I took my wallk off at the four foot level, because I had 38 inches of water." At the property next door, contractors say they'd already treated the wood studs with sporicide. Omann has done much of the same. "After powerwashing and so forth, we went through and used chemicals that inhibit mold and mildew." Many people we spoke with have different methods for warding off mold, from bleach to sporicides, to soap and water.

Chad Siems, a certified microbial consultant, specializes in mold hunting and indoor air quality testing. He says whatever you use to mold-proof your home, it's a good idea to stop it before it spreads. "Any mold, to a person who's immuno-compromised, or with asthma or allergies, it's going to affect their health."

Siems and other mold experts have professional tools to test for airborne spores. He's used them at recovering businesses in downtown Cedar Rapids, and the Taylor Elementary School. But for homeowners, he simply suggests monitoring the humidity in your home once winter gets here. "How much moisture you have would determine what types of mold you get. If you're over 60 percent, you're going to be growing mold."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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