The Hidden Dangers That Come With a Flood in Your Home

On the heels of the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, the nation’s attention is on the tragedy of that natural disaster, but also the unseen results of flooding. It doesn’t have to be the result of a disaster like a hurricane—flooding in a home can occur for any number of reasons, including something as simple as a plumbing issue.

Once flooding does occur, it’s a traumatic and stressful experience for the residents of a home, but it’s not just the visible structural damage that can wreak havoc on people’s lives. It’s also the invisible problems associated with flooding. Namely, mold and other airborne fungi. The ideal environment for the growth of mold and fungi is in a flooded home, because there’s a high level of moisture combined with organic materials, including carpets, flooring and other materials used in the construction of homes.

While many people are concerned with what appear to be more pressing issues after a flood, such as the damage to their home and handling tricky insurance claims, mold and airborne fungi can have a detrimental and long-lasting impact on the air quality of a home if it’s not dealt with rapidly. When homeowners don’t remove materials that are contaminated, and reduce the levels of moisture and humidity in a flooded home, it becomes a breeding ground for not only mold, but also bacteria and viruses.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), reports that the growth of mold can begin in as little as 48 hours after flooding initially begins. This development of mold and fungi isn’t just unsightly—it’s also a significant health hazard.

When a home’s residents breathe in mold, symptoms range from sinus infections to coughing and breathing and respiratory problems. People who already have a lung disease or a compromised immune system are particularly at-risk for developing health problems related to the air quality of a home. People with asthma may also have symptoms of the condition triggered when they breathe in airborne fungi. When people live in a home that’s infected with mold and fungi spores, there’s often an attack on their respiratory and immune systems, which in addition to producing negative health consequences, also lowers their quality of life. Every time a resident of a damp or moldy home takes a breath, they’re breathing in toxins that can lead to everything from symptoms of allergies, to irritation and inflammation.

The best course of action, according to FEMA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is to immediately take steps to dry a home after flooding occurs. It’s recommended that residents of a flooded home contact a professional flood repair and mold removal company such as Best Dry Flood and Mold Specialists, Inc. as soon as moisture is spotted, rather than trying to handle the situation on their own. A professional company is going to have the equipment and knowledge to not only begin removing moisture and humidity from a home to stop the future growth of mold and bacteria, but also to locate sources where mold may have already begun to develop.

With your health, and the health of your family at risk, flooding is not just an inconvenience. It can also represent a significant medical threat as well. The consequences of a flood go far beyond what’s initially visible, unless the situation is handled by a team of professionals.

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