While most homeowners understand the sort of destruction that can occur to house and possessions due to water inundation, the health risks of home water damage may be less familiar. Water entering or spilling in your home can actually be a toxic substance, or it can create the kind of conditions that quickly spawn an unhealthy indoor environment. In either case, quick response and professional remediation are essential to minimize exposure to unhealthy factors.
The first priority must be to stop the flow of water, whether it be from an external source or internal origin like a ruptured water supply line. Once that's accomplished, these health risks of home water damage become a major concern:
- Standing water quickly turns into a source of toxic microorganisms. Bacteria, mold spores and viruses may be carried in water and become airborne inside the house. These toxins can threaten health even without direct contact with the water itself and will occur in standing water from relatively benign sources such as rainfall.
- Water inundating the house from local widespread flooding can be assumed to contain some raw sewage. This is a source of many disease-causing pathogens and presents a risk of illness from inhalation or direct contact.
- Even after the water recedes or is removed, health risks remain. Water contacting dry areas of the home activates dormant microorganisms like mold spores and bacteria. Mold growth begins within hours of exposure to water. Growing mold disperses millions of toxic reproductive spores into the air. In an enclosed environment, these can cause a range of illnesses from allergic reactions to respiratory disease. Mold growth after water damage requires professional disinfection methods to eliminate the potential threat.
For more information on both the immediate and delayed health risks of home water damage, contact Rytech, Inc.
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