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A look back at the effects of Hurricane Harvey on Houston

On August 25, 2017, the world watched as Hurricane Harvey barreled into Houston. The storm has been called one of the most catastrophic natural events ever recorded.

Flooding caused by the storm was responsible for countless tragedies, including medical emergencies, loss of income, loss of properties, and most devastatingly, loss of life.

While many of the problems caused by Harvey were immediately apparent, some wouldn’t surface until several months after the flood waters retreated. One of those issues was mold.

Mold has always been an issue in Houston. Given the city’s hot, humid climate, it’s the perfect environment for mold growth. However, after Harvey hit, indoor mold growth became rampant. The heat and humidity, coupled with the moisture caused by Harvey’s unprecedented flooding, made the city even more hospitable for mold growth. Buildings throughout Houston were ravaged with mold.

When the flood waters receded, properties may have looked as if they were dry, but in reality, they were far from it. Building materials, such as sheetrock and insulation, remained damp long after Harvey and the flooding the storm caused left the city.

Though proper mold testing can detect mold and remediation can remove it, Houston had a series of problems after Harvey hit that affected the ability to properly test and remediate. There were only so many contractors who performed these services in Houston, and while a lot of out-of-state contractors did travel to the city to help, there still weren’t enough. Because of the influx of mold growth, many Houston area homeowners had no other choice but to wait for a contractor to take care of their remediation needs.

When a home becomes flooded, mold growth usually isn’t high on the list of concerns for property owners. That’s because it can take weeks for mold to become evident, and property owners are more concerned with the challenges that are facing them in the moment. However, in the days and weeks following Harvey, indoor mold growth did become a serious concern.

Indoor mold growth can have devastating effects. Not only does it structurally damage the surfaces it grows on, but exposure to mold can cause a long list of health problems.

It can take several days and even weeks for the mold remediation process to be complete. During remediation, property owners are forced to evacuate to prevent the inhalation of airborne mold spores. Evacuation is also important so that contractors can properly perform their jobs.

In the span of a few days, mold can become an extensive problem. Airborne mold spores travel quickly and when the conditions are right – as they were after Hurricane Harvey – the spores can quickly colonize on the surfaces they land on.

Mold Inspection & Testing Houston is a highly reputable mold assessment company that has performed countless mold inspections in properties throughout the Houston area. Given Houston’s climate, which is the perfect breeding ground for mold growth, we strongly recommend that all property owners arrange to have routine mold testing performed – even when a hurricane hasn’t hit. To speak with an MI&T representative, call  713.496.0696.

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