Experts warn homeowners of mold risks prompted by flooding

While tornadoes are a slight possibility this weekend, the main concern is flooding, and where there’s moisture, there’s mold.

Fort Myers resident Justin Tethu says he’s preparing for another flood this weekend. The rain this past week has created large puddles in his neighborhood that his son has to walk through to get home from school.

Tethu says last year his Harlem Heights neighborhood got flooded twice.

“The water was there for two weeks,” he said.

The mark where the water rose to is still on his wall. And hoping to avoid repeating his past mistakes, he used plywood and silicone to seal his home from Irma’s rising waters during the last hurricane season.

But mold still became a potential issue for his family.

“I checked it, we were fine after Irma and we were okay. I haven’t checked it since. I hope we’re okay,” Tethu said.

But some home contractors say families might be in jeopardy of mold.

“Surprisingly there’s still claims coming in from mold if they didn’t get taken care of,” said Zach Licursi with Property Restoration.

Licursi says any time water comes into your home, you need to be aware of the dangers.

“If that water did come in a certain way and wasn’t dried a certain way, it can turn into mold and create certain health issues,” Licursi said.

He adds that the best way to protect your home is to keep an eye on areas where water is likely to enter. You can use abrasive sandbags to cover potential openings if you’re on a road that gets easily flooded.

It’s also worth noting that it only takes mold 24 to 48 hours to build up once it enters a home, and you should get it checked by a licensed contractor if you suspect mold is growing.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
John-Carlos Estrada