Fire Recovery Realities

Has Your Home Suffered Water Damage? Keep Health In Mind As Repairs Are Made

by Matthew Fields

When your home has been damaged by flood waters or a burst pipe, the first thing that generally comes to mind is repairing the damage so you can have a comfortable place to call home again. However, there is another important aspect of the water damage restoration process to keep in mind -- your health.

Health Risks Following Flooding

Mold loves moist places, and it won't take long for mold to start growing after a home has been flooded. Returning to your home before it has been properly remediated may put you at risk of allergy attacks and asthmatic reactions in response to mold spores in the air. This is why water damage remediation teams generally wear respirators when working in flooded homes -- to protect themselves from mold spores.

There is another health threat to worry about in flooded homes, too: bacteria. Recent studies have shown that a specific species of bacteria known as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is quite common in water damaged buildings. This bacteria can cause respiratory infections that are very hard to treat, since it is resistant to many commonly used drugs. For this reason, it's essential to wear a respirator when entering a flooded home, even if there are no signs of mold. Mold is visible, but you cannot see bacteria growth.

How to Protect Yourself

To protect yourself from the threats of mold and bacteria, it's important that you never enter your water-damaged home unless accompanied by an experienced remediator. Make sure you're wearing a respirator, gloves, and protective clothing if you do enter the home.

When your home becomes flooded, act quickly. Call a water damage remediation team, such as All Care, immediately, so they can start working to clean up your home before the mold and bacteria have too much of a chance to start growing.

Only hire an experienced and certified remediation team to handle water damage. Don't attempt to clean up the spill and make repairs yourself, as doing so puts you at risk of bacteria and mold exposure. If the mess is not cleaned up properly, these harmful pathogens may remain in your walls, floors and ceilings, putting you at constant risk of illness. Never attempt to save items that have suffered water damage, as they're likely to be contaminated.

Having your home flooded is a traumatic experience, and in the heat of the moment, it's easy to make mistakes that result in exposure to the harmful mold and bacteria in the wet structure. If you do begin suffering symptoms after being in a flooded building, see your doctor immediately for treatment.