Health Risks of Water Damage and Mold
Homes can be impacted by water damage in a variety of ways. Some cases may be more severe than others, but the effects are still significant. In fact, even a seemingly small leak can lead to major mold and water damage if it goes unnoticed for too long. When homes succumb to hidden water damage, the residents can be faced with several health and safety risks.
Sudden and severe water damage from floods or burst pipes presents their own unique risks and challenges. Therefore, it’s important that homeowners use caution when dealing with water damage of any type.
First Call Restoration knows firsthand the dangers and health risks of water damage. Homeowners are encouraged to read this guide so that they can understand how serious their water damage problem truly is.
Effects of Mold Growth
Mold is one of the biggest health concerns homeowners should have when they notice water damage. It only takes 24 hours for mold to start growing in a moist environment, so homeowners could breathe the spores in before they even realize it.
Unfortunately, mold can lead to a variety of health issues. It is especially dangerous for children, the elderly, and adults with respiratory challenges. In mild cases, the people living inside the home may experience runny or stuffy noses, itchy eyes, or other allergy symptoms.
As the mold spores continue to spread throughout the house, the effects could worsen, and the residents may start to experience chronic migraines or severe respiratory issues. It’s important to know that a person’s reaction to mold can vary greatly depending on the type of mold growing in the house. There are some varieties that can lead to severe illness.
Homeowners also need to worry about the toxins that are produced by certain molds. These mycotoxins have been linked to several different health problems, including:
- Lack of Concentration
- And More!
Risks of Contamination from Flood Water
Aside from dealing with the effects of secondary water damage like mold, homeowners need to worry about immediate health risks associated with different types of water. Though Category 1 Clean Water usually presents little risk, the health risks of water damage caused by grey or black water are much greater.
These types of water damage may contain chemical waste, harmful bacteria, viruses, dirt, raw sewage, and other harmful contaminants. Floodwater is especially notorious for containing harmful contaminants that can lead to health problems in the future. Dirty water exposure can specifically cause disease in the brain, lungs, or kidneys.
In circumstances where drinking water may become contaminated, homeowners should seek a clean water alternative until the problem can be fixed. Consuming any water with chemicals, biohazards, or other contaminants can lead to the following:
- And Other Symptoms
Dangers of Pests in Moisture
Finally, homeowners should be aware of the health risks of water damage that may contain pests. There are many insects that are attracted to moisture, so homeowners may find themselves battling insects like mosquitos, which can be linked to diseases like Zika, West Nile virus, malaria, and more.
These insects can enter into the home through cracks in doors, windows, roofs, and other areas of the home. They may go unnoticed at first, but homeowners should look for the following signs:
- Wet Insulation
- Wet Carpeting
- Scratching Sounds Inside Walls
Bugs aren’t the only health risks of water damage. Flood water can also bring in rodents, reptiles, and other vermin. Rodents can carry many diseases that can lead to major health problems in humans who have been exposed. Last but not least, a snake or spider bite can not only put a person at risk for exposure to venom, but it can also increase the risk of infection if the bite is exposed to dirty flood water.
Contact a Professional to Learn More About Preventing the Health Risks of Water Damage
The best way that homeowners can prevent any of the health and safety risks of water damage is by leaving the cleanup to a team of trained professionals. While it might be tempting to start the process alone, the average person doesn’t have access to the proper protective equipment they need to stay safe.
For that reason and more, homeowners should always contact a contractor like First Call Restoration. Their highly trained crews have access to all of the tools and equipment to safely handle water damage of all types. They can be reached by phone for 24/7 emergency services, or homeowners can submit their online quote form for less urgent matters.