Rebuilding After Harvey: The Hits Keep Coming

Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August of 2017 and really impacted our community drastically. Unfortunately, the assistance for those affected was anything aside from helpful for pretty much anybody who did not have flood insurance. We were among those people who did not have insurance due to the type of home we have and where it is located within the county.

The Clean Up

Due to my lung issues and asthma, we had no choice but to take care of the demolition of the water damaged portion of our house quickly. My husband was working so my best friend and myself, who are both on disability, ended up doing a lot of the demolition. I suppose lucky for us, the sheetrock was so wet it came off the walls in our hands. During the demolition, a lot of black mold was found with basically everything we removed. While we went through this process, I lived and even slept in the masks. Luckily for me, my mother who lives in Ohio was able to order plenty of the masks and get them delivered to us down here in order for me to have an abundance of the masks. With my track record of severe pneumonia and asthma, we knew we had to be extremely careful about how we dealt with the damaged house. Although even with the masks and a dehumidifier and an air purifier, I still ended up back in the hospital with pneumonia again.

The Rebuild

With the assistance of some long-term recovery assistance program, we were finally able to start the rebuilding process. Rebuilding a home is another nightmare when it comes to having asthma and lung issues. We had volunteers arrive to help us get some of the work done because of my disability and my husband is a partially disabled veteran. Our load-bearing wall had to be reinforced with plywood before the insulation and sheetrock could go up. All of these things create a dust that floats in the air and take much longer than a day to settle back down. Additionally, outside the laundry room had to be completely demolished and rebuilt, which also created a lot of sawdust all over the place. After everybody left, we swept and cleaned everything we could. My husband even cleaned the air conditioning unit filters. Despite all of the cleaning, I still suffered from issues due to stuff being in the air. Of course, about the time it all seemed to settle down, it was time to sand the sheetrock mud on the walls. So I am back to having an increased issue with my breathing and feeling like I have intense allergy issues.

Regardless of whether you are tearing down a damaged home or rebuilding after you have done the tear down, it is important to keep your health in mind. It can be so hard to keep our lungs safe when everything is going on around us but it is definitely the most important thing we can fight to accomplish.

Have you had to demo and rebuild with asthma?


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