Untreated water damage can cause severe health problems, including mold infestation, fungal spores, or bacterial growth. The impact of water damage can be devastating, so it is essential to treat the area as soon as possible. Here are some major risks of untreated water damage.
Toxic Mold and Fungi Growth:
The chance of mold growing in your home after water damage is almost inevitable. It could grow up to 1-5 days after being exposed. Mold spores can attack nearly any surface, regardless of material. The sooner these newly formed bacteria take residence in your surroundings, the more damage is done.
Some mold types can contain neurotoxins which are linked with severe respiratory disorders. It is advised that if you notice any presence of mold growing around the damage site to remove the area immediately and adequately clean up all debris, especially air exchange vents (elevator shafts) suspected of housing additional airborne threats.
Property Structural Damage
When mold is exposed to water, bacterial growth can take place inside of it. As the mold grows, these bacteria will react quickly because their food source has been disturbed. The house’s foundation may also weaken due to external factors regarding water penetration depth and time spent within the building, causing further structural damage outside the walls where there are levels above floor level.
Water damage from storms or hurricanes can flood the walls, floors, and contents of a home. According to certain studies by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), 85% of flood victims experience significant damage to their home’s interior and exterior. Such water contains typically destructive elements, including sand, which can cut through most materials found inside the house, affecting its structural integrity.
Dealing with category 3 or contaminated water damage puts your health at severe risk. Exposure to dirty water could cause you to develop a disease, such as typhoid or dysentery. This may include diseases of the brain, lungs, or kidneys.
Contaminated water can also cause problems with your immune system, which is essential for fighting off infections. It may also cause headaches or constant fever.
If your drinking water source gets contaminated, you are exposed to various other nasty health concerns such as cholera, diarrhea, vomiting; typhoid fever; scarlet fever, which produces a rash on the body, and mouth sores. And lastly, leptospirosis – Nasty bacteria that causes acute inflammation, fever, and jaundice. That is, the yellowing of eyes and skin caused by infection with leptospirosis causes breathing trouble if left untreated.
Water damage can attract pests such as cockroaches, silverfish, carpenter ants, and beetles that prefer moist environments to your home. Rodents may also invade your home in search of water. Sometimes earwigs and moths can be seen inside the house after water damage. Drain flies also prefer moist homes, leaving wet messes wherever you turn.
One of the warning signs of pest infestation includes wet insulation or carpeting. You may hear scratching sounds coming from inside one of the walls.
Even if you do not initially see bugs, insects can enter through cracks and crevices in windows broken by water damage flooding. If this happens, repairs must be completed before more damage is done!
Risk of Electric Shock
Electricity can leak into the home after water damage. Water-damaged wiring is like nothing else on earth because of its unknown contents, making it more prone to sparking and electrical injuries, among other things. Water also causes oxidation, leading to leaks in your pipes or even shorted-out wires if not immediately appropriately fixated by a professional electrician.
Never attempt fixes on any damaged electrical work yourself! Grabbing an extension cable with your bare hands and shaking it around with all that moisture can lead to electrical shock or even electrocution!
If you suffer any form of water damage in the home, find out what is causing it. If there are preventions for this, do something about them immediately. If you think that the damage is beyond your ability or cannot identify the source of water damage, seek the help of a water damage restoration specialist.