Water damage can be one of the most damaging and costly issues for homeowners. It can lead to a range of health risks, from mold growth to increased levels of indoor air pollution. Understanding the potential risks associated with water damage is an important part of keeping your home safe and healthy. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 potential health risks of water damage in your San Diego, CA home and what you can do to avoid them.
- Mold Growth: One of the biggest risks associated with water damage is mold growth – it can start growing within 48 hours after exposure to moisture or standing water. Mold spores are easily spread through air circulation and have been linked to numerous respiratory health problems, such as asthma, allergies, coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
- Allergens: Excess moisture can also make your home a breeding ground for dust mites, fleas, cockroaches, and other common allergens. These pests thrive in damp environments and can trigger allergic reactions or worsen existing respiratory conditions.
- Bacteria: Bacteria can quickly proliferate in standing water or saturated surfaces exposed to water damage. Pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella and E Coli have been known to cause serious illnesses in humans if ingested.
- Viruses: Many viruses spread through contact with contaminated water droplets, including the norovirus which causes gastrointestinal distress and other flu-like symptoms; the rotavirus which causes severe diarrhea and vomiting; and the adenovirus which can cause respiratory illnesses.
- VOCs: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases emitted from certain materials when exposed to water damage, such as carpets, furniture, paint, and wallpaper. Exposure to high levels of VOCs has been linked to headaches, nausea, dizziness, eye irritation, and other health issues.
- Lead: Older homes with lead-based paint or plumbing fixtures may be at risk for lead contamination if exposed to water damage – especially if the water is contaminated with sewage or other hazardous materials. Long-term exposure to lead can have serious neurological effects on children and adults alike.
- Carbon Monoxide: If your home has a gas appliance, it’s important to inspect the area around these appliances for signs of water damage. Gas appliances can produce carbon monoxide (CO) if exposed to excess moisture, which is dangerous and can lead to poisoning or even death.
- Structural Damage: Water damage can cause structural damage to your home over time, such as warped floors and walls, weakened foundations, and crumbling drywall. This type of damage can put you at risk for falls and other accidents caused by weakened support structures in the home.
- Pest Infestation: Insects, rodents, and other pests are attracted to damp environments where they can build nests and reproduce quickly – posing a serious health risk. Pests can spread a number of diseases, such as salmonella and Lyme disease, by contaminating food sources with their droppings and saliva.
- Indoor Air Quality: Poor indoor air quality is another potential health hazard caused by water damage – especially in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces. High levels of humidity can cause mold growth, dust mites, and other allergens to proliferate which can trigger respiratory symptoms like coughing and difficulty breathing.
To avoid these risks associated with water damage, it’s important to address the issue as quickly as possible if you detect moisture or standing water in your home. You can also take preventative steps like sealing leaks around doors and windows and regularly checking for signs of water damage. If you suspect your home has been affected by a flood or other major water-related incident, it’s best to contact a professional remediation service as soon as possible. They can provide an assessment and help mitigate the risks before they become more serious health issues.
By The Book Plumbing is here to help if you have experienced any water damage in your home. We provide comprehensive plumbing services, emergency repairs, and more – so don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our team of trained professionals can help you get your home back in top shape quickly and safely.