The Health Hazards of Water Damage in Your Home

There are many reasons to clean up spills and prevent water leaks. A foundation leak could undermine the stability of your house. Leaks that spread and soak through a large portion of walls or flooring could require massive renovations to repair. Money and time are in the balance when you’re considering fixing water damage. One fact that often gets overlooked, however, is your family’s health. Water damage poses a health hazard to anyone in a home, but the elderly and children are especially vulnerable. There are two main ways water damage causes ill-health: through mold and insect infestation.

Mold causes many health problems

Mold is the most pressing cause of health problems related to water damage. A standing pool of water (coupled with the increased humidity that pool produces) is the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold spores are one of many pollens that are always in the air around us; typically, our homes aren’t the best place for these spores to grow and flourish. When you have a nice, damp area, however, these spores can settle down to grow colonies.

The basic health problems mold causes are allergies and worsening of allergy-like symptoms. People who are already sensitive to pollens are the most susceptible. This can include sneezing, coughing, and red, itchy, or watery eyes. Unpleasant, but as a general rule not dangerous. Greater levels of mold spores can lead to worsening symptoms, however.

Past the allergy stage, mold infestation can cause deep, hacking cough and bronchitis-like symptoms. Breathing and swallowing can become painful, and the person’s lung-function diminishes. This condition makes it easy for someone at risk to develop worse symptoms. An elderly relative prone to pneumonia might develop it after the bronchitis and inflammation leads to fluid build-up in the lungs.

Besides mold wreaking havoc on your structure, it can wreak havoc on your body. Nip it in the bud by cleaning up all leaks and standing water and using an antifungal cleanser. If your water damage is extensive, call a water damage restoration company to get a full assessment of your mold risk.

Insects can harm humans and house alike

Water is often a breeding ground for insects. A variety of creepy-crawlies call the water home. The most dangerous is often the simple mosquito. Mosquitoes love standing water, as that’s where they lay their eggs. Additionally, if they’re living in your house, they’re close enough to you to snack on you and your pets alike. Mosquito bites can transmit disease and produce an itchy bump, and certain allergic individuals experience a much stronger reaction.

A plethora of insects attracts spiders. A spider bite can be a lot more serious than a mosquito bite. It’s best to clean up all standing water and remove the chance that insects and spiders may be drawn to it.

While moderate mold may not bother a healthy adult, children and the elderly can be at its mercy. Vigorous cleaning can solve your problem, but if you or your family is experiencing severe symptoms, it’s best to get qualified professionals in to assess the water damage and mold risk.

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