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Look who's moving into Sandy-damaged houses

A captured raccoon peers through the bars of

A captured raccoon peers through the bars of a trap. Credit: AP, 2007

Mold and critters. Those are just two problems homeowners are facing post-Sandy. “After the storm, I’m seeing a lot of mold ... and mice, squirrels and raccoons getting into houses,” says Sergio Gallardo, owner of Truly Nolen of New York, a pest control company in Huntington.

Both issues pose serious health risks. Remediation of mold from water damage often entails the removal of materials, such as wallboard and insulation. Other materials, such as wood, can be treated with a professional’s arsenal. Once the wood is dry, before the walls are closed up, Gallardo treats it with a professional product called Bora Care, which he says is like boric acid. “It’s safe and it lasts a long time . . . and it repels insects such as carpenter ants,” Gallardo adds.

As for critters: Storm damage such as broken windows and soffits have made it easier for them to gain access.

There are ways to shut down these gateways, Gallardo says. Check the exterior for small openings. Mice can squeeze through the tiniest of spaces, Gallardo says, noting silicone can be used to close gaps. Gallardo also suggests ensuring attic vents are screened with mesh. And keep garage doors closed.

“We noticed during the storm, people couldn’t close their garage door because the power went out,” Gallardo says, noting squirrels and raccoons took advantage. Needless to say, Gallardo has been setting a lot of traps, too.

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