Water Damage Can Be Dangerous
There are few events that cause a homeowner panic like flooding, either from a natural disaster or pipe burst. Just the thought of seeing your property soaked by water will create a dread. Even worse than the initial damage is the cleanup and race against mold and bacteria. Mold in water-damaged buildings is especially dangerous for people with respiratory problems, but it can also affect those who are healthy.
ScienceDaily reports, “In a new study, a University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health research team found evidence linking two specific strains of bacteria –Stenotrophomonas and Mycobacterium — to indoor mold from water damage. The research is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s investment in research to protect the health of children from hazards in the home.”
The researchers discovered a clear association between Mycobacterium and evident mold and between Stenotrophomonas and environmental relative moldiness index. Mycobacterium is known to cause various serious diseases in humans and other mammals. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a multidrug-resistant opportunistic pathogen linked with high morbidity and mortality in those with weakened immunity or otherwise weak systems.
General mold exposure symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, sore throats, aches and pains, and fatigue. Bacteria can produce serious skin infections and gastrointestinal. When flooding occurs, you have 24 to 36 hours. The faster the cleanup, the more you will save and the lower the risk to your health.
The first thing needed is pumping out any standing water, and soaking up any remaining puddles. If the flooding occurs in the basement, there is a risk of electric shock. Ensure the electricity into your home is off. When there is a lot of water, hiring a professional is invaluable.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warns about the risk to personal safety when attempting cleanup on your own. You must wear protective clothing, including rubber boots and gloves to protect from bacteria. Conditions may require using a respirator. Never touch debris with your bare hands.
Clean USA is the #1 choice for cleaning and restoration. If you would like to talk more about water-damaged buildings and the link to potential health problems, or need more information, please contact us.