The Dangers of Water Damage – Keeping Your Family Safe
Water damage to your home can come from a number of sources. You may have a roof leak that goes unnoticed, allowing water damage to build. There’s also the possibility of a broken water line which can quickly soak the surrounding area. Sewer backups not only cause water damage, the bacterial problems can be extreme. Finally, flooding from rising waters may leave your property underwater for hours, and that water may contain sewage.
Structural and Property Damages
When the floors, walls and ceilings of your home have been exposed to water, the structural support can weaken. Water can damage many of the structural components used in home building which can end up costing you thousands. If left untreated, water damage can also result in toxic mold or sewage.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that drying and cleaning of your property should begin within 24 to 48 hours to reduce the possibility of mold. While you may be able to begin the drying and cleaning process, mold growth occurs in many areas that you may not be aware of. Simply cleaning and drying your carpeting may not completely stop mold from forming in places such as the carpet padding. Additionally, mold can also end up growing unseen behind your drywall, underneath wallpaper and along baseboards or ceilings.
The EPA warns of adverse effects on your health from mold exposure. Common problems include asthma, allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Even the clean up process itself can expose you to mold. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that individuals planning to clean mold damage wear protective N-95 breathing masks. Using gloves and eye protection is also recommended.
Exposure to Sewage
Raw sewage contains viruses, parasites and bacteria including E. coli. Sewage may also contain pesticides, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The EPA states that illnesses including cholera, tetanus, hepatitis, dysentery and tuberculosis can be contracted from contaminated water. Exposures can occur through the ears, eyes and nose, as well as ingestion through the mouth.
If you have sewage backup into your home, professional help is highly recommended. Protective clothing, including gloves and boots must be worn and all items must be properly disinfected.
However, you must also remember that sewage dangers do not just come from your sewage system. Floodwaters can contain raw sewage and many of the associated bacteria and chemicals. As flood water passes over land, it will pick up anything along the surface area. You can face more exposure in locations with large numbers of septic systems.
Mold and bacterial exposure are two large concerns, but unfortunately not the only ones. If you live in an older home, it’s possible your house may contain asbestos or lead paint. If you are not careful, your restoration processes could disturb these hazardous materials. In addition, if you do not completely dry and inspect water-damaged areas they can weaken over time. Ceilings and drywall can begin to crumble long after the flood if restoration work is not performed correctly.
Dealing with water damage is a process that may require the use of professional services such as ours. At Professional Restoration, we are your best choice to ensure that all water damage is completely dried and clean. We will not only restore your property, but our services will keep you and your family safe from the exposures you would otherwise face.
If you have experienced water damage in your home and can visibly see discoloration on ceilings and/or walls, call our certified team at 1-303-922-4001 and Professional Restoration can investigate the source and determine the appropriate repairs. Your family’s health is top priority, and the dangers of water damage don’t go away, they just get worse. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate.
(sources: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/protect.asp, http://www.epa)