• Credit: EPA.gov

Mold is a familiar problem in homes, traceable to ordinary water sources such as a damp basement, plumbing problems, or roof or window leaks. But Hurricane Sandy's storm surge inundation was a whole different scale of water intrusion — and, according to the Asbury Park Press, it left behind a whole different scale of mold problem ("Sandy left Shore properties with a massive mold problem," by Todd B. Bates and Jean Mikle).

"Superstorm Sandy flooded tens of thousands of New Jersey homes, businesses and schools," the paper reports, "and longtime home inspectors say the state's mold problem is the biggest they've ever seen."

With whole stretches of the barrier islands closed to residents and contractors alike after the storm, homes sat wet for weeks or even months, giving mold an uncontested hold (see "Sandy Aftermath: Jersey Shore Struggles with Shattered Infrastructure," Coastal Connection 11/14/2012).

"Many people tried to get rid of mold on their own or hired professionals or other contractors to clean up. But many people did not have the knowledge, tools, or equipment to properly remove mold, which frequently returned," reports the Asbury Park Press. "Mold also resurfaced after some contractors completed their work. And some contractors vastly overcharged homeowners. Moreover, many people still don't know they have a mold contamination problem, according to experts."