During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home or office may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions, and continue to damage materials long after the flood. The longer the wet materials are allowed to dwell in the home, the greater the chance of mold developing.
Quick response and immediate action is vital after a flood in your home. This will include the removal of all wet and affected materials, extracting all water and disinfecting all surfaces. The use of equipment such as fans and dehumidifiers will be needed for several days to bring the home back to a safe level of relative humidity while also structurally drying out the envelope. When this process is overlooked or completed poorly, then mold can develop and negatively effect the air quality in your home.
The cost for remediating a property after it had a flood is nothing compared to cleaning up mold long after the water loss. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.
In conclusion, when a flood in your home occurs, remember that the getting the property restored back to it’s original condition takes precedence over everything. Not only can there be structural damage to your home and loss of contents, but mold can also play a major hurdle in getting your home to be safe as it was prior to the loss.