As state recovers, owners of flooded properties need to be mindful of mold

As state recovers, owners of flooded properties need to be mindful of mold
( Image: Hawaii News Now )
( Image: Hawaii News Now )

NIU VALLEY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At a home on Kalanianaole Highway that was swamped by the flood on April 13, a two-man work crew from MD Restoration dismantled kitchen cabinets that got soaked by the storm.

The company is doing the same thing in homes from Hawaii Kai to the windward side. The concern? The growth of mold.

"If it hasn't started already, mold typically takes 24 to 48 hours to start growing on wet material that hasn't been tended to," said Mark Harris, owner of MD Restoration.

The restoration industry categorizes water that rushed into houses during the storm as "grossly contaminated." Meaning that it's basically the equivalent of sewer water.

"Everything that the water touches needs to physically be removed and decontaminated," Harris said.

The company is warning people who are doing their own removal work to wear shoes, gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask.

MD has also been fielding a lot of questions about flood insurance.

"The best thing I can recommend for any homeowner that's been affected and either does or doesn't have flood insurance, or doesn't know if they have flood insurance, is to call their insurance agent and ask them the question," Harris said.

The company is also getting calls from people who started their own removal and demolition and need help to finish, and from others who don't know where to start.

"If you're not going to touch anything, not clean anything or remove anything, remove yourself from that environment," Harris said.

To help homeowners affected by the flood who need quick answers to questions, MD Restoration posted short informational videos on its Facebook page.

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