Water damage is amongst one of the most frequent reasons for home insurance claims. It can come from various sources, including floods, leaking pipes, and burst water heaters. These are not only annoying but also hazardous to your health with long-term effects that you may not notice until it’s too late.
What’s lurking in the water damage that’s been left untreated in your home? Mold, bacteria, and other harmful toxins can cause severe respiratory illnesses. If you’re dealing with water damage, make sure to take action right away to avoid any long-term health impacts. In this post, we’ll explore the health risks of untreated water damage and offer some tips for getting started on remediation. Stay safe!
Potential Causes of Water Damage:
Hidden water damages can result from a wide range of problems. Some common examples include:
- clogged gutters
- leaking pipes
- malfunctioning sprinkler system
- roof damage
While they may seem like a simple annoyance at first, it is crucial to address them quickly not to become more severe.
How to Prevent Water Damage
To prevent water damage, you’ll need to remove the source of water intrusion and address any underlying issues that may be causing it. Removing mold, mildew, and bacteria should be a top priority. Continue reading to find some useful tips about preventing water damage.
Water Damage Can Cause Serious Health Risks
Long-term health problems can occur from exposure to water damage and the accompanying mold, mildew, and bacteria. Asthma patients are especially at a higher risk.
There is a reason homeowners dread mold growth in their homes. Floodwater is notorious for causing mold to grow, which has been linked to various cases of “sick building syndrome.” Even when the flood’s visible water has been removed, trapped moisture may linger in many areas.
Molds can survive in damp, dark places, including bathrooms and kitchens. They may spread rapidly and infest ceiling tiles, wood, and paper products, as well as paint and wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpets, upholstery, and even dust if they get a chance to thrive.
Short-term mold exposure can induce allergic reactions, sinus congestion, and irritated nasal and throat tissues. You might have a more severe response if you’re sensitive to molds, such as fever or difficulty breathing.
When water is not treated properly after a flood or leak occurs, bacteria will often grow and spread. People who come in contact may experience symptoms like:
- stomach cramps
Water damage can also cause an increase in allergies. Due to the increased presence of dust, pet dander, and other allergens that may flow in the water. Symptoms of exposure may include:
- nasal congestion
- eye irritation
Water damage can also lead to an increase in pests. It is because water creates the perfect environment for them to thrive. Pests found in homes after a flood or leak include: rats, mice, cockroaches, spiders, and termites. These pesky creatures bring with them health issues like food poisoning.
If you have contracted a water-borne illness due to untreated water damage in your home, it is essential to seek medical attention. Such diseases can include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle aches. Left untreated, these illnesses can worsen your health conditions. Be alert and stay healthy!
Your Home is Also at Risk!
Untreated water doesn’t only affect your health; it can also cause issues to the foundation of your home. Water damage is one of the leading reasons for significant repairs in homes and buildings every year.
Weakened Structure and Ruined Flooring and Drywall- The flooring absorbs water and becomes susceptible to mold. Wood structures that support walls and floors become soft and brittle. Drywall can break down, warp, and grow mold, necessitating its removal and replacement.
Corroded Pipes: Floodwater contains elements that can harm pipes, designed to only come into touch with tap water.
Damaged Electrical System: When water comes into contact with outlets, wiring, or electrical boxes, the whole system can become unsafe and unreliable. It necessitates a rapid inspection.
Damaged Concrete or Brick: Water can erode concrete and brick when they are not adequately sealed, jeopardizing the structure.
Mold: Microscopic amounts of mold can develop in tiny quantities within 24-48 hours after water damage has occurred. It may not be apparent until 1-2 weeks later.
Musty Odors: After only a few hours, some surfaces will begin to smell. Carpets often start to smell rapidly and become a breeding ground for germs and bugs and an attraction for insects.
Permanent Staining on Walls and Floors: Water that is not promptly and correctly removed may leave permanent discoloration on walls and floors. Paint may not permanently hide these marks on the walls, and flooring stains are unsightly. Any staining will reduce the value of your property.
Water Damage Prevention:
Preventing your property from water damage is easier than you think. You can follow simple steps to prevent water from coming into your home and causing costly repairs.
- Have regular inspections of your home for leaks and other signs of water damage
- Ensure your gutters are clear and functioning correctly, so water does not seep into your home
- Install a sump pump if you live in an area that is prone to flooding during
You can also protect your home’s contents by keeping them dry with flood protection products such as waterproof covers for furniture or whole room barriers during flooding emergencies. These can also help protect against corrosive moisture and molds if used quickly enough after an incident.
You should take water damage very seriously because the health and property risks posed by it are real and severe. If you experience water damage in your home, do not clean it up yourself. Contact a professional immediately to get started on the cleanup process. By taking these precautions, you can help protect yourself and your family from the long-term health hazards of untreated water damage. Always put health first.