Written By Mikkie Mills / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
While water damage can have a serious effect on the safety of your home and the integrity of its structure, there are also serious potential risks to your health, too. Here are five ways water damage in the home can affect your health.
1. Damaged Electrical Wiring And Appliances Can Cause Injury
When you find damage after storms or floods, your instinct may be to begin water damage restoration right away. However, you need to be careful about your electrical appliances and wiring. If these things have been exposed to or damaged by the water, they may be dangerous for anyone but a professional to handle.
If you suspect any electrical damage in the wake of water damage, you should contact a professional electrician or water damage expert to come assess the electrical damage and then remove or repair the damaged wiring or appliances safely.
2. Mold And Mildew Can Affect Your Lungs
Mold, mildew and other microorganisms thrive in wet and damp environments. This is especially true in homes that have experienced water damage. If you don't get your home dried right away, then these microorganisms are more likely to be able to gain a foothold and grow.
When these microorganisms grow, they can have serious adverse effects on the health of humans and animals, particularly on their respiratory systems. Bronchitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and other respiratory infections can be caused by mold and mildew, while asthma and allergic reactions can be exacerbated by them.
3. Mold Can Infect Your Food Storage Spaces
Not only can mold and mildew cause respiratory issues, but they can also grow in unexpected places. If areas where you store food, such as cellars, pantries, refrigerators and freezers, experience water damage, then the food stored in those places is at higher risk of contamination by microorganisms.
Contaminated food can then make those who consume it ill. If you notice water damage in food storage areas or if your freezer and refrigerator aren't working in the aftermath, get these areas thoroughly inspected and cleaned. Get rid of all potentially contaminated food and don't store any new or uncontaminated food in those places until you're sure they're clean.
4. The Water Can Contaminate Your Drinking Water
Because water is a liquid, it can get into places you might not expect it to be able to infiltrate. This includes your pipes and drinking water supply. Water that causes damage to the home is typically untreated and is therefore unsafe for consumption.
If it interacts with your drinking water at all, whether that interaction takes place in your pipes or in storage areas, such as in your fridge's water filter, it can contaminate your drinking water with all kinds of particles and pathogens.
You should get filters replaced, clean your ice maker and get rid of existing ice cubes in your freezer and get a plumber to check your pipes after water damage occurs.
5. Water Damage Can Cause Or Increase Stress
While water damage can have many physical impacts on your health, the psychological effects of dealing with water damage can also have an impact. When your home or possessions are damaged or destroyed, you can experience significant psychological distress.
You'll be dealing with taking care of the cleanup and restoration, potentially interacting with your insurance provider and worrying about potential effects on your health and budget. These are all significant stressors.
Stress can wear down your immune system, putting you at higher risk of illness. This can be especially dangerous for the elderly, the immunocompromised and others who are already at increased risk of illness. When your home is affected by water damage, try to stay calm and assess the extent of the damage.
When you experience water damage in your home, not only do you need to ensure it's addressed and repaired by professionals, but you also need to get your home assessed for potential health hazards. If you don't, then these hazards can worsen over time.
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Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones around, walking her dog, or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.