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Mold can worsen asthma and trigger allergies and is a health risk for people with weakened immune systems. However, it can be removed safely by following some guidelines.

What You Should Know
  • Remove mold as soon as possible. It grows on wet sheetrock, ceiling tiles, paint, wallpaper, carpeting, wood, clothing, furniture and other materials.

  • Although there are many types of mold, the process to remove it is the same for all.

  • When removing mold or dust from your home, it is very important that you wear an N95 dust mask, for sale at supply, home improvement and hardware stores. Learn more about wearing the N95 mask [En Español] Русский].

What You Should Do
  • Inspect your home thoroughly for mold.

  • Protect yourself by wearing the right gear, including an N95 dust mask [En Español] Русский], when disturbing mold or dust.

  • Isolate wet, moldy areas, and repair work from living areas with plastic sheeting or other barriers.

  • Remove any standing water and ventilate the work area.

  • Remove wet, moldy materials.

  • Reduce dust by wetting down dried surfaces and material before removing and disposing.

  • Scrub off mold from metal, glass, solid wood, concrete and other hard surfaces with soapy water.

  • Dry out your home completely before replacing walls and flooring . Use dehumidifiers and heating to remove moisture. Open windows and use fans to help dry and ventilate spaces.

  • Consider hiring a contractor for help if mold growth and damage is extensive. See Tips for Hiring a Contractor.

Note: Asbestos may be found in insulation materials around old pipes and boilers. If you are not sure if the damaged insulation or other building materials contain asbestos, do not remove it yourself. Contact a licensed asbestos contractor.

 Detailed Tips on Removing Mold

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  • Mold Treatment services are available at no cost to eligible homeowners, coordinated by Neighborhood Revitalization NYC (a project of Local Initiatives Support Corporation) which is working with skilled contractors and nonprofit organizations in affected neighborhoods.  This program is supported by the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, the American Red Cross, and the Robin Hood Foundation.

  • Mold Awareness and Safe Practices Trainings are being provided at no cost in affected neighborhoods, by experts from Hunter College/UMDNJ.  Free mold clean-up supply kits are also distributed at these trainings.  This program is supported by the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

  • The Department of Consumer Affairs offers an “Instant License Check” to determine if a specific contractor is licensed.

  • For reimbursement of additional repairs:
    • If you are applying for disaster assistance or filing an insurance claim, take photos of all damage before cleaning up. Keep receipts of all repairs.
    • Apply for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual and Households Program. This program will provide money to repair a home so that it is safe and sanitary to live in but it will not pay to return the home to its condition before the disaster.
      • Apply online at disaster assistance or by call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
      • Repairs made through NYC Rapid Repairs will not affect the amount a homeowner is eligible to receive through FEMA.
    • Contact your insurance agent about filing a claim.
      • Contact the New York State Insurance Department, Consumer Services Bureau if you have complaints about your insurance provider: 800-342-3736.

    • NYC Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, Hurricane Sandy Recovery site.

    For more information, call 311 or visit

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