ALBANY, GA (WALB) - After January's storms and tornadoes, mold is in more places than you think.
So how can you make sure your home is safe for you and your family?
WALB News 10's Catherine Patterson got a closer look at how mold has taken over one storm-damaged building on Robin Hood Road.
Mold had spread up walls, in the insulation, and on the floor.
And when it gets this bad, there's nothing to do but tear the entire building down.
Critterad Owner Jim Phillips said hundreds of storm-damaged homes in Albany have similar damage.
"So many homes were drenched in water. And people, in an effort to dry them down quickly, did not get them dry enough," said Phillips.
And that's how the mold spreads.
"People make the mistake of saying, 'Well it's just a little mildew.' There is no such thing as just a little mildew," Phillips said. "People don't know, they simply don't know."
Phillips said mold can be detrimental to your health.
Some are allergenic, some are pathogenic.
"Small children, you certainly don't want to put their health at risk. Elderly people, you don't want to put anybody's health at risk," said Phillips. "The only way you're going to find out if you're living in a safe home, you need a professional test."
Phillips said a professional can do an inspection, take samples, send it to the lab to identify what type of mold is there, and determine if it's dangerous.
"People who are untrained should not guess, because you actually are dealing with something that can harm you, health-wise," he said.
So before you think about paying a contractor to rebuild your damaged house, make sure mold hasn't completely taken over, and made your home uninhabitable.
"If you go back and try to cover it with new building material, it's going to show its ugly head," he said. "Believe me, it will show it's ugly head somewhere down the road. It usually takes several weeks to several months, but it's there."
Phillips reminded folks to avoid using bleach to clean up mold around your home.
He said that actually makes it worse.
If you need an expert out to your home, you can call Critterad at (229) 347-1568.