Super Storm Sandy impacted 1,000’s of homes with flooding and storm related debris. When the flood waters receded, what was left behind was a gnarly-gloppy-sticky mix of raw-untreated sewage, industrial chemicals, fuel oils, heavy metals, pesticides, sediments and a host of other enviro-nasties we’re calling “Flood Sludge”.
Worried About Contaminated Flood Waters?
We are and so should you! It is not uncommon for flood waters to contain all sorts of harmful mold, contaminants and debris.
As the flood travels inland, it picks up a host of contaminants that bind to sediment and “fines”. Everything from septic and municipal treatment facility sewage to thousands of chemicals stored in garages, industrial facilities, fuel oil tanks, land fills even residual pesticides and road waste from agricultural areas and road surfaces that concentrate in the sludge. As the flood waters recede, the sludge gets trapped behind your walls in the insulation, basement foundation and crawl space.
What Should I do?
No one knows for sure, but to get rid of mold and flood sludge sounds like a good idea! As the compounds bind to sediment it is likely they will be around for some time (unless removed by an environmental contractor). Getting rid of the mold and removing that layer of sludge and the contaminated insulation could save you years of guess work later.
How Bad is this Really?
Many of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) will actually “off-gas” and vaporize. Not a direct problem if outside (and diluted). But what about the Flood Sludge under your home and in the walls? These VOC gases concentrate and create more problems inside your home. And we’re not talking about just a bad smell here. Off-gassing and “Vapor Intrusion” (VI) are getting a lot of attention theses days from NJDEP who just recently released guidelines for “Vapor Intrusion”. This is pretty technical stuff that is a real problem.
Want to Get Rid of Mold Flood Sludge?
Was your home damaged by Sandy and you want to bounce some environmental questions off an expert? GreenWorks can help! We live at the cutting edge of where your home environment collides with the natural environment. We are experts at using simple, sound science to create affordable solutions to get rid of mold and just about any other environmental issue. Give us a call or forward this piece along to one of your friends. We’ll appreciate it and so will your friends!
Pssst – Check-out this video of a nasty flood-impacted crawl space.