With five months to go, 2011 is already one of the worst years ever in terms of weather disasters, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The flooding suffered by homeowners in many parts of the country can leave behind an unwanted houseguest: mold.

 “The mold that may occur after water has receded can be far more hazardous to the homeowner and family,” according to the American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA), which is offering information to homeowners who face flooding issues as a result of extreme weather conditions.

 Living or working in a building which contains mold increases the risk of respiratory disease, especially among infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with existing respiratory conditions, allergies or weakened immune systems.

 The AIHA encourages homeowners who’ve experienced flooding to have their home inspected by mold by a professional experienced in mold evaluation and remediation, such as an industrial hygienist.

 “It is important to address and correct large mold problems as soon as possible by first fixing the source of the moisture problem and removing contaminated materials, then cleaning the surfaces, and finally drying the area completely,” says the AIHA.

 More information on mold remediation and resources on hiring remediation professionals, can be found at: http://www.aiha.org/news-pubs/bg/Pages/MoldDetectionRemediation.aspx.