In terms of fatality and property damage, flooding is the most common natural hazard in the US. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), water damage caused by flooding is also the most expensive hazard in the country. Flooding is something that many people do not expect. It can happen anytime and without any notice. Worst is, it can damage your property and put your health at risk in a short period of time.
Time is of the essence when it comes to dealing with standing water inside your home after a flood. The longer the water sits, the worse damage it can create in your home. Here are the 6 dangers that standing water brings.
Standing water caused by flooding is not clean. It is contaminated with bacteria and other impurities that may put you and your loved ones at risk of illness or infection. Some common bacteria found in standing water are E. coli and Salmonella. The longer the floodwater sits, the more it becomes contaminated. So it is important to call a professional to remove the standing water and decontaminate the area as soon as possible.
When there is moisture, mold can develop. In fact, mold can grow on a wet surface within 24 – 48 hours. And once mold penetrates your home, it becomes very difficult to completely get rid of it. Molds can damage both your home and your health. The worst type of mold that you can encounter in standing water is Black Mold. It is toxic and can trigger asthma and other respiratory problems. It can also eat away the materials of your home and damage it.
Norwalk virus and rotavirus are just two of the many viruses that you can get with standing water. These viruses can cause moderate to severe health complications to anyone that comes in contact with them. And even if you do not come in contact with the standing water, you can still contract the virus as it can be carried by insects and mosquitoes.
Apart from the insects, standing water can be a perfect breeding ground for parasites too. Some of the parasites that can breed in standing water caused by flooding are Entamoeba, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium. These parasites can cause amoebiasis and other intestinal illnesses when coming into contact humans.
Pests and rodents
Standing water can be contaminated with the urine and feces of pests and rodents. And once they infiltrate your home, they can wreak havoc and damage your property. Mosquitoes can also breed in standing water which may carry malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika fever.
Standing water caused by flooding doesn’t just put your health at risk, but it can also pose serious structural hazards to your home. Your drywall can swell when exposed to water for a long period of time. When this happens, your walls and flooring can rot resulting in a costly home renovation.