Melting snow and heavy rains pushing rivers across the Northeast to flood levels. This hit many states hard and created many waterlogged communities. Flooded basements and additional dampness can cause more than just water damage to homeowners. This water and dampness can lead to mildew and mold growth, which can quickly become a health hazard.

Because water damage is insidious, flooded or wet basements can become a breeding ground for mold. Even when the visible water is gone, hidden areas can become a breeding ground for mold spores.

“Mold spores can begin to grow in a just a few days,” said Kevin Hinchey, President and CEO of H&H Environmental Construction and Consulting. Hinchey also added that “Mold and mildew needs nothing more than moisture and a food source, such as wood, to grow and spread.”

When mold spores are present in sufficient quantities, they can present a health hazard. So-called “black mold” (Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra) can cause health problems over the short and long term. The term toxic mold refers to molds that produce mycotoxins. Not all mold that looks black is true Stachybotrys mold, but any mold in a home is bad for human health.

Common symptoms from mold exposure include allergies and allergic reactions, asthma flare-ups, bronchitis, headaches, sinus congestion and even immune system disorders. Small children, infants, the elderly, and people already suffering with health problems face acute problems are more susceptible to health problems related to mold infestation.

The best thing a homeowner can do after a flood or water incident is to have the house professionally dried by a a water damage company. Water can be pumped out, and combined with high-speed fans and other technology, homes and buildings can be safely and efficiently dried out and disinfected to prevent later mold spore growth.

Hinchey adds, “If the water is removed early early enough, it can save you the hassle and expense of an expensive mold removal job down the road.”

Since 2005, H&H Environmental Construction and Consulting has been the leader in mold removal and flood water removal services. The company serves New York:, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.