Types of Water Damage and Their Health Risks
Did you know that there are different types of water damage? And that each type of damage has different associated health risks? Unfortunately, many homeowners are familiar with the effects of water damage but do not know that there could be adverse health effects after water incursion in the home. Water damage can happen for many reasons and come from many places. The reasons for and sources of water damage can impact what kinds of health risks your family may be exposed to.
What each type of water damage has in common is that they can increase your family’s risk of developing allergies and/or respiratory issues by contributing to poor indoor air quality, causing mold growth, and aerosolizing foul scent molecules. A water damage restoration professional can help you identify the type of water damage and mitigate the resulting effects, including protecting your family’s health and well-being.
Clean Water Damage
Clean water damage results from, you guessed it, water that was clean at the time of its incursion into your home. This includes water damage from sources like leaky sinks, faucets, refrigerators, washing machines, or other appliances. The excess water in a clean water damage situation is free of microorganisms that can cause respiratory issues or allergic reactions. If left for too long, however, clean water damage can still lead to mold or mildew growth that can impact your health. This water damage can be cleaned up by a homeowner before mold or mildew growth occurs, but if the damage has spread into the surrounding building materials, it is best to call a professional to have it removed.
Dirty Water Damage
Dirty water damage occurs when the water that caused the damage has some hazardous contaminants in it, such as water from your sump pump or toilet. When the contaminants in this water become aerosolized or when your family comes into direct contact with it, it can cause negative health effects. When removing this kind of water from your house, you need to wear boots, gloves, and a face mask or goggles in order to protect yourself from those contaminants. Additionally, removing the water is not enough to counter the negative effects from microorganisms in the water. The area that was damaged also needs to be cleaned and disinfected to prevent health risks. A water damage restoration professional can ensure that your home is sanitized and healthy after dirty water damage.
Black Water Damage
This is the most dangerous type of water damage and is caused by flood damage or sewage backup. This water can contain microorganisms, sewage, and human or chemical waste and can cause serious allergic reactions or respiratory symptoms if not cleaned properly. If you come into contact with warm water and soap to ensure you remain safe. It is highly recommended that you hire a water damage restoration professional to clean after any black water damage as they have the right tools and chemicals to ensure no lasting effects on your home.
No matter what kind of water caused damage to your house, it’s important to hire a professional to clean and repair your home after extensive water damage to make sure you protect your home and family from any long term effects.