Mold experts warn of hidden dangers after winter storm

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ROUND ROCK, Texas (Nexstar) — When water began emerging in two of the rooms in Robert Wallace’s home during the winter storm, he grabbed towels to slow the damage.

“First thing I did was grab a bunch of towels and just start pressing on them and put as much weight on it,” he said. He managed to shut off the main water line outside, digging through snow to find the switch.

As soon as the winter weather passed, he called for an inspection to protect his family.

“I wanted to make sure it was safe for my wife, and me and my son,” he said.

Wallace recognizes his repairs pale in comparison to other Texans who sustained massive flooding causing thousands of dollars in damage and even displacement.

At Pilgrim Baptist Church in Lubbock, months of repairs due to a busted pipe from the winter storm will keep parishioners out of the sanctuary until August.

“Everything’s so damaged, so waterlogged and saturated that’s not salvageable,” Rev. Michael White said after the storm.

After taking care of the immediate pipe problems stemming from the storm, calling a mold expert to check on the safety of your home may be the next step.

Using moisture meters and thermal scanners, professional mold assessors can check for potential problems.

“It’s not intended to be ingested at high levels,” Texas Mold Assessors and Remediators Association president Mike Marshall said. He explained people coexist with small levels of spores in nature, but higher levels of certain mold can be dangerous.

“It will eventually lead to respiratory issues, allergenic issues, asthmatic issues and potentially neurological issues,” Marshall said.

“If we do find conditions that are conducive to mold growth, we’re going to do some sampling, and we’re going to get some independent lab data to confirm whether or not we do have a mold situation happening in the home,” he explained.

Texans who do end up with mold shift into the remediation phase to dry the inside of walls, peel back soaked carpets and make any needed repairs.

Frank Martinez, Ed Zavala and Matthew Stell contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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