Water Damage: Mold & Salt Water Inundation


Under the FEMA PA Program, if reasonable measures are not taken to prevent the spread of mold, the remediation of newly contaminated areas will not typically be eligible for reimbursement. However, exceptions can be granted if extenuating circumstances interfere with timely remediation measures. FEMA policy notes that extenuating circumstances include situations involving disruption of power, lack of facility access or prolonged flooding. Lack of resources, both financial and human, is another circumstance that might prevent timely remediation activities.

Small areas of mold (less than 10 square feet) can be remediated by following universal guidelines. These guidelines are widely available from organizations like FEMA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control.

Larger areas, however, require cleanup according to standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Many communities and agencies in the throes of disaster response and recovery opt to contract the work to companies that specialize in remediation. These companies are equipped with the knowledge, proper gear and trained staff to complete the remediation according to OSHA standards. An important note: even in cases of emergency mold remediation, FEMA policy requires that contracts are properly procured.

Removing moldy contents and structural components can also be funded as a permanent repair under the FEMA Public Assistance Program. “Gutting”flooded buildings and properly disposing of wet flooring, walls, ceilings and other interior structures not only removes soaked...

“Along with compromising the integrity of a building and its contents, mold growth is also well known for presenting potentially serious health risks. …”

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