Basement Flooding Hazards
Basement Flooding and the Associated Hazards
When you think about basement flooding the first thing that comes to mind is physical damage and while that is usually the case you can also experience a good amount of health hazards as a result of flooding in your basement or anywhere else in your home.
When building materials become saturated with water they become a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew, especially in basements where the temperature is typically colder. Molds and mildews have long been known to affect breathing in people with asthma but mold can also cause much worse help problems such as nausea, diarrhea and believe it or not mold as a result of floods has even has been linked to causing cancer.
Another problem with flooding in basements is that standing water is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. You should be especially careful if you have carpeting in your basement as the carpet padding acts as a sponge soaking up all the flood damage. If the damage is too great you should consider having the carpet replaced.
What’s worse when building materials like plasterboard, thin sheets of plywood and insulation get wet they become a breeding ground for rats and mice and insects like carpenter ants. These pests thrive in wet environments and with the advantage of having a wet environment tucked away behind a wall where they won’t be disturbed by humans these pests can reproduce quickly and cause additional damage to the materials and spread disease.
Other potential health risks that can arise as a result of basement flooding are the additional risk of electrocution with soggy and damaged materials coming in contact with electrical circuitry within the walls or on panels.
Also by not cleaning up flood damage in basements you could also be exposing yourself to an increased chase of a fire. When wet materials can easily disintegrate and could potentially dislodge a gas line. If a gas line in your basement becomes exposed your basement becomes a ticking time bomb.
Lastly, in many older homes paint and building materials were made from hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos insulation. Flood damage can loosen these materials causing them to fall to the floor where children and pets can easily get to them. If you notice any paint or residue near an area damaged by basement flooding you need to make sure you clean it up immediately and thoroughly.
If you experience really bad basement flooding there are many companies that can repair the damage for minimal expense. To do so your flood damage repair professionals will go through a multi step process to restore your basement to as good as new.
First they will extract the water from any material using a special water extraction process. Next they remove all mold, mildew and bacteria from the damaged area using a special anti-bacterial cleanser. Lastly they will install a fan and/or a dehumidifier in the area to make sure any humidity in the basement from the flood damage doesn’t re-settle in the walls.
If you experience flood damage don’t take chances, call a professional to come to your home inspect the damage. More often than not when treated quickly and thoroughly flooding will not pose a problem at all, but it would be a shame to put your family at a health risk because you didn’t have anyone inspect your basement flooding damage.