The Insurance Information Institute tells us, “Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, causing billions in economic losses each year. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), 90 percent of all natural disasters in the United States involve flooding.”
Let’s assume that your customer has the proper insurance and the contents valet are proceeding against a myriad of challenges. Unseen electrical wires (hidden in a puddle), eroded gas pipes, saturated ceilings, broken glass and weakened walls all offer their own special concerns.
Backed up sewage can harbor millions of health hazard bacteria, not to mention toxic liquids and viruses, some of which have never even been named. Which is why contents companies that have dealt with “black water” before have only minor concerns when dealing with the new COVID-19 – comparatively speaking, they have dealt with far hardier viruses and they know how to treat both porous and non-porous surfaces when dealing with diseases and other assorted germs.
Mold is another major cause for extra care. Most people know that it can cause or exacerbate respiratory complications for both the front line workers and the insured. But many are unaware of the ailments caused by touching mold with exposed skin.
According to MoldAwareness.org, “Black mold symptoms include effects on your skin, respiratory system, and circulatory system, ocular systems, immune system, reproductive system, as well as other illnesses and health effects. Mycotoxins that are produced by true toxic black mold are neurotoxic.”
And that is why the contents valet wear protective equipment when they know it is present. Joan W. Bennett, Ph.D., a fungal geneticist at Rutgers University says, “Mold starts growing in damp places within 24 hours, and within two days, you can have visible colonies if it’s warm.”
Floors, walls, and furniture may feel dry to the touch and still harbor mold and bacterial growth.
And the CDC adds, “If…you were not able to dry your home (including furniture and other items) within 24-48 hours, you should assume you have mold growth.”
That is just one of the reasons the contents valet treat every water damage job as having the potential to produce unseen mold. Fortunately, they now have remarkable mold-killing products and devices (some of which are still unknown to the general public).
The Insurance Information Institute reminds us, “You may see or smell mold on clothing, drywall, furniture, cardboard boxes, or books, but it may also be hidden under or behind items like carpet, cushions, or walls.”
When facing challenges that are not readily visible to the eye, you need trained, experienced specialists – fortunately, you have a friend in the business!