How Can Water Damage Affect Your Health

October 16, 2019 | Blog

Water damage can certainly bring destruction, but did you know that it can also put your health at risk? Whether a small leak or a devastating natural disaster, any type of water damage can put you in danger if it is not taken care of immediately.  Anyone can be affected, but children, the elderly, pets, and those with immune deficiencies or a weakened immune system are the most likely to experience health risks.  We’ll outline four of the major health risks associated with water damage and what you should do if you feel you may be at risk.

Mold

  • One of the most common health risks of flooding and water damage is mold. When it comes to mold, everyone is at risk, even the healthy.  However, not everyone exposed to mold will have a reaction or develop an illness.  Some people are more sensitive to mold.  There are also those who are more susceptible and at risk.  They include the elderly, infants and children, those with respiratory issues like asthma, those with compromised immune systems, and those with chronic lung disease.
  • Mold can trigger allergic reactions and flu-like symptoms including headaches, sore throat, nasal stuffiness, wheezing or coughing, throat irritation, eye irritation, asthma attack or asthma-like symptoms, lung infection, sinus infection, rash or hives, fatigue, depression, and, a weakened immune system causing constant sickness.
  • Often people are unaware mold is present and go on experiencing conditions for a long period of time.  If you have experienced recent water damage or flooding and are experiencing these symptoms, mold could very likely be the cause.
  • Diagnosis and treatment from a doctor may be needed if you have mold in your home and are experiencing any of these symptoms of mold-related illness.  However, symptoms will likely continue even with treatment until all the mold is removed from your home.

Contaminated Water

  • Floodwater and sewage backups are common sources of what is called black water damage. This is water that has been contaminated with microorganisms, sewage, or other human or chemical waste.  It is hazardous to your health and professionals should be called in to do any kind of cleanup for this type of damage.  They will have the right training, tools, and supplies to properly clean and disinfect the affected area to avoid further damages like mold.
  • Contaminants can also find their way into local water supplies, so it is vital that all warnings be headed in situations involving floods and other natural disasters.
  • Floodwater should be avoided whenever possible. Wash with hot, soapy water immediately if you do come in contact.

Carbon Monoxide & Risk of Shock

  • With most flooding and leaks electrical and gas systems should be turned off as soon as possible to avoid shock or possibly more severe risks like gas explosions.
  • In an emergency situation like a hurricane or flood where electricity may have been turned off, people often turn to generators or use fuel like gas, kerosene, wood, or charcoal for heat and cooking. Using these outlets means more exposure to carbon monoxide, an odorless colorless gas, which can be deadly with enough exposure.  Only use alternate sources of energy in well-ventilated areas.
  • Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include fatigue, light-headedness, headaches, chest pain, or confusion. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed to best protect your family.

 Cross-Contamination

  • If items in your home have come in contact with floodwaters or sewage spills then they will need to be cleaned properly or even thrown out. Metal and plastic utensils and kitchenware can be washed thoroughly.  Wooden utensils, toys, or other wood pieces will need to be thrown away due to the absorption of contaminants.
  • Other items that can be washed include bedding, curtains, pillows, and stuffed animals. Some books and other paper may be salvaged by drying it out, but often it’s not worth the hassle.
  • All items used for babies or small children like pacifiers, bottles, etc. should be thrown away if exposed to floodwaters.

Dealing with water damage can bring with it lasting effects, especially to your health.  The last thing you want is for your family to be at risk.  Water damage must be dealt with immediately and be cleaned properly.  Smaller jobs may be easily handled by a homeowner, but most cases of water damage will require a call to professionals who specialize in water extraction, cleaning, and restoration.

At Pro Response Restoration our top priority is the safety and health of our customers.  Being pro-active and acting quickly in the water damage restoration process can be the determining factor in your loss.  We can be on-site within an hour or less and will thoroughly assess the area and start the water removal and drying process to prevent any additional problems.  We serve residential homes and commercial water damage in Dallas TX and surrounding areas.  When you need water damage cleanup call Pro Response Restoration right away!

 

Related Blog Posts:

It’s Flood Season.  Secure Your Flood Insurance Now.

Hail Season is Here.  Get Your Roof in Tip Top Shape.

Effects of Water Damage on Materials in your Home

5 Reasons to Call a Professional for Water Damage

What Should I do if My Home Floods?

What Can Happen if I Leave Water Damage Untreated?

 

Additional Resources & References:

https://www.sylvane.com/water-damage-and-health.html

https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/outdoor/emergencies-and-natural-disasters/floods-and-water-damage.html

https://www.theplumbingco.net/water-leak-consequences-on-home-and-health/

Day Or Night Emergency Cleanup