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  • Michelle Cooke

The Power of a Storm - Remembering Ida

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

One year ago the skies grew dark and a storm was upon us as the clouds unleashed massive amounts of rain.

We knew it was coming but no one was really prepared for all the flooding and damage. Parkways raged with water sweeping cars away. Rivers, brooks, streams, ponds, and lakes overflowed barging their way into streets and homes with up to 10 feet of water. Some people even had a few fish come into their homes along with the water. More than three inches of rain fell in one hour with totals of over 8 inches in some areas, which caught most people surprised and off guard.

There were estimates of up to $24 billion in property damage in the Northeast. New York had around 20% of the total destruction and received $279.9 million in federal assistance.

As the flood waters began to recede, the calls came flooding in to environmental inspection and remediation companies.

Water damage to your home can create a great mold risk. This growth can cause damage to the home and also generate health risks with many different types of ailments. This is why you need to act quickly and make wise decisions.

Your HVAC system mold risk is the greatest after flooding. When the water enters your home or business this water could get into the HVAC system bringing mold spores and bacteria.

Sometimes there is hidden mold which may produce a smell. It’s often difficult to pinpoint where the odor is coming from. A professional mold inspector will use their expertise and tools to help in situations like this.

Even if you do not see the mold it will continue to grow and expand. This indoor growth could take place in many areas of your home including behind drywall, attics and crawlspaces, and under carpets. Since mold starts to grow within 24-48 hours it is imperative you start to take action right away.

There are things you can do to help prevent some or all of the damage that can happen from a storm.

Make sure you have good drainage around your foundation. In some cases, a French drain or Curtain drain is needed. A home’s foundation can be damaged by many different things but moisture is the main offender which can affect the base of

your home by weakening it. This damage can result in leaks and cracks and therefore creating an environment for mold growth.

Keep the gutters and downspouts working properly by clearing leaves and debris from them.

A quality sump pump installed in the basement floor can help prevent lower level floods and water damage to your home’s foundation. A properly functioning sump pump ensures the best possible protection against flood damage.

If you had a flood or leak in your home or business, don’t hesitate to take action. The longer you wait the more serious and costly it could be. When a storm hits the area, the inspection and remediation companies book up very fast and can add possible waiting time for an appointment.

If you do get water in your home, document everything by taking plenty of images, taking notes, and keeping receipts for anything you may need to buy.

Hopefully we won’t see another Ida but we need to be prepared and ready for action just in case.


Justin H. Joe, Ph.D., CIH, CSP, CPE, is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and a principal consultant of BNF Consulting, Inc. Dr. Joe graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Ph.D. and MS degrees in nuclear engineering. Dr. Joe has provided industrial hygiene consulting as a core function with his diverse background of experience and education.

*Your Family’s Health Comes First! --- BNF Consulting, Inc. 914-297-8335*,problem%20areas%20in%20your%20yard't%20want%20to,done%20as%20soon%20as%20possible.

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