NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The clean-up effort continues more than two weeks after superstorm Sandy flooded homes and businesses all across the Tri-State Area.

But as residents begin to put the pieces back together and rebuild, some elected officials on Staten Island have a piece of advice: wait.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

“Don’t be in a rush to put the sheet rock back. Let the beams dry out,” City Councilman Vincent Ignizio told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “You’re creating, or potentially creating, a toxic environment in your own home.”

Experts advise that the wood under siding, tile and sheet rock all need to dry before construction should begin.

With the extended flooding due to Sandy’s storm surge, officials said it is best for residents to take their time now rather than deal with bigger problems down the road.

“Under these conditions, there’s a potential ticking time bomb inside their walls,” State Senator Andrew Lanza said.

“The reason you have to thoroughly dry this out is because you want to prevent mold and other bacteria from growing,” Rep. Michael Grimm said.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

The elected officials cautioned that once the insurance companies sign off on repairs, they are off the hook. That could prove costly for residents who have to deal with any contamination on their own down the road, Haskell reported.

“We don’t want to create tomorrow’s headache in trying to address today’s problem,” City Councilman James Oddo told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

Many homes are still waterlogged. One woman told Sandberg her home took on seven feet of water.

“It’s still wet, we just got power,” she said.

Officials said anything that was submerged in seawater and sewage needs to be ripped out and replaced.

Have you begun to rebuild from Sandy? Please share your comments below…

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