CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – If your home suffered flood damage during Hurricane Ian, state health officials say you should ensure your residence does not fall victim to mold.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) said those who experienced flooding should not re-enter their home until it is safe to do so because mold could be present on floors, walls, furniture, appliances, and clothing.

“Drying your home and removing water-damaged items within 24 to 48 hours is the most important step in stopping mold growth, damage, and potential exposure,” said DHEC.

Health officials said mold can be recognized by sight and smell – but it could also present no signs at all if hidden behind walls or under floors. Mold often appears on walls and ceilings, appearing as spots that can be in many different colors.

Mold smell is often a strong unpleasant musty, earthy odor.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control does not perform remediation for mold; however, the state health agency said residents can call their mold hotline at 1-888-815-3509 for resources and to speak with a DHEC representative who can help answer questions about mold.

To learn more about mold after a severe weather event, please click here.