Water Damage Health Concerns
Every year hundreds, if not thousands of homes are affected by hurricanes, excessive rain, and flooding across the nation. For homeowners this means excessive clean-up following massive amounts of rain or flooding. Excessive water damage can also mean many environmental health concerns that homeowners should watch for following water damage to homes.
Mildew may be present on surfaces, and generally has a white or black color, along with a strong odor. Mildew is caused when moisture, oxygen, and humidity meet. This combined with low air circulation causes mildew. Once the air circulation increases mildew, left untreated, floats through the air, and can be inhaled into lungs, causing severe respiratory problems and damage to lungs in some cases.
Bacteria can also develop in high moisture areas. The affects of bacteria to the human body can cause asthma attacks, infection, and severe allergic reactions. As a precautionary measure all homes affected by excessive moisture or flooding should be completely cleaned and sanitized.
Mold is also a consideration, especially harmful black mold in high humidity and high moisture areas, causing mold to grow and thrive. Mold is best known for growing in closed or out of the way places, such as under counter tops, beneath kitchen sinks, and on bathroom ceilings. This is because it needs moisture to thrive. If mold is observed the home should immediately be sanitized. Homes that are especially susceptible to mold are those who have suffered flood damage, in which leaves or sewage may have entered the home.
Not only can mildew, bacteria and mold be a problem, but also termites. Moisture and wood attracts termites. Flooding creates the perfect environment for termite infestations. Termites can quickly cause a healthy home to suffer from excessive termite damage to areas of the home constructed of wood. This not only includes the internal structure of the home, but also furniture, counter tops, cabinets, floors, and other structures.
While the temptation for homeowners may be to try and accomplish water restoration cleanup themselves, it’s usually best to hire a water restoration service professional. Professional water restoration specialists have the skill and knowledge to thoroughly sanitize homes, remove standing water, salvage materials such as rugs and furniture, and treat homes to remove mildew, bacteria and mold. They can also access internal damage to homes, and inspect homes for any growing black mold or termite infestations and damage.