Water Damage and Health

A home is often assumed to be a clean place that provides people with a shelter from the dangers of the outside world. It gives us protection from weather and many fungi and bacteria that can adversely affect our health. In spite of all of our preparedness and building prowess, severe weather can cause water to infiltrate our homes, and it can endanger the health of both the buildings that we live in and the people that reside inside them.

Indoor air quality can have a large effect on the people and animals inside a building. Moisture in a home or business can affect air quality by making air exceedingly damp and also provide a place for mold to multiply and release irritating spores into the air. Floodwater can be especially dangerous because it can carry sewage, microorganisms, and other animals that can carry disease directly into your home. Extremely water damaged buildings become a haven for many types of pests including mites and cockroaches.

The American Lung Association warns that many of the air and water borne particles can irritate the lungs, and put one at further risk for lung disease. Two of the most common health risks associated with particles in the air are asthma and allergies. Both asthma and allergies can cause difficulty breathing, and allergies can also cause watery and itchy eyes, runny noses, and scratchy sore throats.

The most important things to remember for the prevention of health issues from water damage are to act quickly and safely. Water damage relies on time to truly take hold, and moving as fast as possible can save a lot of money and eventual work. In carefully monitoring the level of moisture in your home, water doesn’t have time to spread and grow dangerous molds and bacteria. Mold can be an extremely difficult mess to clean up as well.

Unfortunately, moving moldy building materials can cause spores to be released into the air. These spores can make people sick and are also the way that many molds reproduce. This means that your house and your body need to be protected when attempting to clean mold. If the proper precautions are not taken the problems can continue and eventually get worse. Prolonged exposure to mold can even be deadly, as the toxic spores that molds release are rarely found in a high enough concentration to immediately be life threatening.

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