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Home / Water Damage Within The Home: How Does It Affect Your Health?

Water Damage Within The Home: How Does It Affect Your Health?

Home water damage is almost impossible for homeowners to avoid if they own a property for an extended period of time. There is a great deal of risk that comes with certain areas, but much of it is dependent on the weather and certain natural disasters or weather. This makes it difficult for people to predict exactly what might happen in the future. Therefore, a lot of homeowners hesitate over whether or not they should spend money on the types of safeguards and protections that they might actually need. While it might seem like a waste of money to protect a property too much, there are plenty of problems that can occur if homeowners fail to take the proper measures as well. Obviously, the properties themselves are at risk in a large way. Permanent water damage can lead to a property becoming unlivable, at least on a temporary basis. While they might be able to change them in the long term and bring up their value again, they may very well remain permanently damaged in some cases, or at least permanently devalued. This is a major problem that every homeowner should consider as a potential risk if they choose to live in a property that is close to sea level. Right now, around 20% of all insurance claims are related to water damage in some shape or form.

Of course, the most serious concern that must be addressed is that of people’s personal health. There are a lot of health risks that come with water damage within the home, extending well beyond those initial issues associated with property damage. While a home can be renovated following water damage, people may not suffer from permanent physical damage; they may also end up struggling with medical bills afterward. One of the problems that come with water damage is that its medical risks are more deep-seated and don’t show themselves immediately. People exposed to water damage may grow sick or feel ill effects without even recognizing the connection for months. It’s important to stay on top of the health risks associated with water damage. This will give homeowners a better idea of why they must be vigilant regarding water damage.

Mold: An Underestimated Issue

Mold is perhaps one of the more serious health problems associated with water damage within a property, yet it often remains underestimated. This is likely because there are a variety of different types of mold. While there are more benign types of mold, some of which might actually be not only safe but even technically safe to consume, others can be seriously harmful in the long term. Many see mold as something of a nuisance, smelly and unsightly. But in fact, harmful types of mold can cause respiratory issues for the long term, and are difficult to treat.

Obviously, water damage creates the perfect type of climate in which mold can spread, as the ideal climates for it are warm, wet, and enclosed. This is why mold is often discovered first in basements or bathrooms, and can also be uncovered within walls. With that being said, mold can develop virtually everywhere, and quickly as well. It takes little more than 48 hours for mold to spread, and ultimately a lot of people can find themselves dealing with a major mold problem without even realizing it. Mold can be difficult to eradicate, and difficult to detect in some cases. In fact, a property can actually end up suffering serious damage due to mold, in part because the mold removal process may involve removing parts of the home itself. Mold can trigger not only allergic reactions but respiratory infections that are especially concerning in a post-COVID-19 environment. Clearly, the problem needs to be identified quickly and treated seriously.

Bacteria: How Water Damage Can Lead To Infections

Water damage obviously comes with a lot of different potential complications. This can include not only mold but also the collection of bacteria. Bacteria can collect in any part of the home, regardless of the issues that come with water damage. But the water simply presents a stronger opportunity for bacteria to form. While some types of bacteria, like mold, are relatively harmless, others can cause serious side effects.

There is a reason, of course, why people are advised to keep their feet wet whenever possible. While minor problems like Athlete’s Foot are associated with sweaty feet, if feet with even small cuts are exposed to the types of bacteria that can pool within water damage, the consequences can be much more dire.

The issue with bacteria is that it causes infections that will ultimately spread throughout the body, and can be difficult to remove without drastic interventions. These interventions may call for the removal of infected flesh. While some infections, like for example Chronic Sinusitis, can be treated through antibiotics, even these antibiotics treatments can be difficult for patients to bear. The treatment for Chronic Sinusitis, for example, is often given over the course of 10 to 14 days. This can not only take up a significant portion of time in which patients could be working; it also causes an unnecessarily traumatic experience.

The potential effects of water damage on those residing within the home are clearly myriad. People can grow sick over the short term and recover quickly, or they could potentially end up spending months in the hospital. But with that being said, there should not be any reason why a homeowner or those residing with the home should become sick due to property-related water damage. It’s important to handle water damage quickly and aggressively, to furthermore safeguard a home against water damage. This is particularly true for homes near the ocean, homes in muggy areas prone to swampland, and of course homes with basements. While that initial investment might seem to be difficult to justify at first, in the long term the safety of those within the home is worth the cost.

Kelsey R.
Author: Kelsey R.

Metro Detroit Mommy writer Kelsey.