FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – It has been almost a year since Hurricane Matthew unleashed tremendous floods in North Carolina.
Efforts are still underway to get people back into their homes which were affected by mold after the floods receded.
To help residents deal with that, a disaster recovery coalition in Cumberland County held a two hour flood awareness class Thursday.
The folks attending that meeting learned everything they need to know about about the hazards of mold, how to monitor it, and how to get rid of it.
Mold remains a huge problem in the Cumberland County area as well as other counties that were affected by Matthews flood waters.
Volunteers from the United Methodist committee on relief are rebuilding this homes in the Fayettville area which were mold filled.
“Every house flooded during Hurricane Matthew received mold,” says Don Evans who is a site coordinator with the United Methodist Disaster Recovery Team.
That mold turns a home sweet home into a place that’s a respiratory nightmare as the mold develops on wet sheet rock and insulation. And once it’s wet, that stuff has to be removed – it cant be dried out.
“We tear out a minimum of 8 feet,” says Evans. “We try and tear out more than that because insulation acts like a wick and so does sheet rock.”
Once that’s removed, a high strength bleach can be sprayed on wooden floors and bare wall studs.
That starts to kill mold on those surfaces.
But, there are times when that mold is hard to find.
“Sometimes you can’t detect it because it’s hidden,” says Evans. “The spores come out and affect the respiratory system.”
That’s why homes that have been affected by mold need constant monitoring even after repairs of been done.
And if the mold situation is beyond the capacity of the recovery team volunteers, they find another way to deal with the problem.
“If we can’t help a homeowner, we can place them with the appropriate individuals or companies that can help,” says Evans.
The goal was to get Hurricane Matthew flood survivors back in there rebuild homes by Christmas, but with Irma making her way towards North Carolina, there’s great fear some of those homes that were just fixed could be flooded again.
If you want to learn more about flood relayed mold and how to deal with it, here’s a link from FEMA.