Hurricane Charley, Frances (the X Factor) and Now Ivan? When Water Turns to Mold, Then Turn to Pure Air Control Services

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Mold will not wait for restoration recovery after a hurricane. The "X" factor in Florida and in the very path of destruction it created is a potential mark of a catastrophic proportions called "Mold."

serious concern that the indoor air quality has been compromised

When Hurricane Charley was approaching Florida's west coast, residents were fleeing from the Category 4, 8-10 ft. storm surge, high winds and impending catastrophic destruction. A few weeks later, Hurricane Frances hit the east coast. Their paths have created a seemingly innocuous “X” factor in the middle of the state of Florida. Unfortunately, this "X" factor in Florida and in the very path of their destruction is a potential mark of chronic catastrophic proportions called "Mold."

The state of Florida Agency For Health Care Administration (AHCA) issued a declaration after Hurricane Charley to all healthcare facilities in the state of Florida stating that AHCA has "serious concern that the indoor air quality has been compromised" after water damage and/or power outage and that each healthcare facility shall "follow basic steps to insure the indoor air quality of the facility has not adversely effected the environment of care" in order to maintain state licensure.

“In the wake of these storms is a second wave of destruction,” said Alan Wozniak, President/CEO of Pure Air Control Services, a national provider of professional indoor environmental quality (IEQ) services. “This second wave can take as long as 24 hours to 6 months to arrive, but when it hits there can be serious health implications. The second wave is microbial deposition and amplification in the form of mold and bacteria propagules that in some cases can be worse than the initial storm. In the rush to reconstruct, water damage is often ineffectively isolated, evaluated and removed.”

In a recent publication by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) indicated "Mold growth is likely to occur in homes after flooding. It’s very important to clean and thoroughly dry any areas of the home that have gotten wet from floodwaters. Failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks, according to the Office of Indoor Air Quality at the Environmental Protection Agency."

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Coordinating Officer Ron Sherman emphasized that "If your home was flooded it could be harboring mold. Disaster recovery and health officials warn that victims of flooding should clean flood-damaged homes thoroughly now to avoid possible health problems from mold and mildew in the warmer months ahead. Care must be taken to clean and completely dry any areas of the home that have gotten wet from floodwaters to prevent structural damage and adverse health effects from mold. …People are anxious to get on with their lives after a flood, but if you had flood waters in your home, take the time to clean thoroughly so problems don’t arise later that affect your home or your health.”

Molds are part of a group of micro-organisms called fungi that also includes mushrooms and yeasts. Molds are familiar to most people as food spoilers on items such as bread or fruit. Molds are nature’s decomposers in the food chain. Mold requires the following conditions to grow:

  •     mold spores (which are always present indoors and outdoors);
  • the right temperature range, from 2 to 40 °C;
  • a food supply, which means anything organic such as books, carpets, clothing, wood, drywall, etc.;
  • a source of moisture.

The last condition, moisture, is the only practical factor to control in most houses.

If allowed to grow inside your house, mold can be a problem because:

  •     it can damage your possessions
  • it can cause health problems, for example:

“ … mold … can cause … allergic reactions such as asthma or allergic rhinitis, non-allergic reactions such as headaches, and other symptoms [including] lung and breathing infections” (Health Canada, 2003).

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) stated that "if you suspect you have a mold infestation, consult a professional immediately. Serious financial and legal consequences may result from not properly addressing known problems."

A proactive Mold/IEQ Home or Building Health checkup can easily avert a second phase IEQ disaster.

“As a leader in indoor environmental services, Pure Air Control Services is ready to assist school boards, healthcare, governments, facilities, and homeowners with any potential recovery efforts from Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Frances storm damage to your home or facility” stated Alan Wozniak.

About Pure Air Control Services and its family of IEQ Companies:

Pure Air Control Services is a global leader in building diagnostics, environmental laboratory and remediation of indoor contamination. For nearly 20 years, Pure Air Control Services has provided recovery efforts from the consequence of major storms. Just as with current and past needs of our clients, our prompt service and expertise will prove to be major contributions for any recovery need you may have in the future.

For additional information, please contact us toll free at 1-800-422-7873 ext 804 or visit us online at http://www.pureaircontrols.com. A pre-hurricane contact with Pure Air Control Services will assure the quickest response in the event you need these services.

  •      Mold/IEQ Investigation Services - Environmental Scientists with backgrounds in microbiology, industrial hygiene, mechanical, building sciences, allergy/immunology
  •      Environmental Diagnostics Lab (EDLab) – Microbial Laboratory Services (AIHA Accredited Laboratory #102795)
  •      Building Health Check (BHC) - Economical Building Evaluations that include Healthy Home and Healthy Building Checkups.
  •      Professional Indoor Environmental Quality (PIEQ) program - IEQ testing equipment and training for the facility manager
  •      Building Remediation Sciences – Ductwork Cleaning (NADCA Certified)
  •      Mold Remediation - NY City Department of Health Office of the Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology guidelines on Mold Assessment and Remediation

Contact information:

Ed Ziegler

Pure Air Control Services

http://www.pureaircontrols.com
http://www.edlab.org
800-422-7873 ext 804

eziegler@pureaircontrols.com

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