Tuesday, November 20, 2012

East Coast: Potential For New Home Construction

When you think about areas with a high possibility for new home construction, the Northeastern United States doesn't usually jump into the forefront of your mind. But that is all changing thanks to the severe hurricane and winter storms that have recently battered New York and New Jersey.

Workers are still sifting through the damage, especially in Long Island, but the number of homes that have been condemned -- and will be condemned -- is climbing quite quickly. The number one reason for this is not necessarily the wind damage, but is the mold damage that is arising from the long periods of time that existing homes are sitting damp and vacant.

Once mold creeps into the drywall, it is only a matter of weeks before those mold cultures will expand their way into the insulation and finally the wood framing of structures. Once the lumber is infected with mold, the "point of no return" has been met, and salvaging the building is nearly impossible.

Mold is very dangerous in an enclosed structure, as the spores produced by the mold will infect the air quality within that structure for years to come. As dangerous as asbestos, mold infection requires professional abatement to rid the building of any trace of the mold, then it must be sterilized to ensure that the mold will not return. For historical structures, abatement may be a viable option -- in order to save a piece of history -- but for an average home that is 60 - 10 years old, it does not make financial sense. In short, the sensible option is to "red-tag" the building and ready it for demolition. While this is a tragedy for those families who will lose their homes, it does open up an opportunity for construction workers to start work on new homes in the area, once the slate has been wiped clean.

Cleanup is still going at a snail's pace, but all conservative figures point to a time-frame of about six months before new home construction will kick off in the area of Sandy's footprints. This is good news for the millions of construction workers in the Southwestern United States who found themselves without work after the burst of the housing bubble in 2008. Nearly five years later, those construction workers and contracting companies may see themselves heading their wagons east to a fertile area for new home construction.

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