There are many reasons why you should maintain your home. It’s not simply to impress guests and family when they’re over. You should also be taking great care of your home because if you don’t, this may negatively impact your health! If you wish to learn more about water damage health risks, continue reading.
Dealing With Mold
People who have allergies, asthma, or any other breathing conditions may be the most sensitive to mold growing in the home. If you are too late and are already experiencing water damage health risks, contact your health care provider immediately. However, if you haven’t noticed any major signs, make sure to control the moisture in the home as this is the most significant factor when preventing the growth of mold.
If you’re cleaning up large amounts of mold, ensure you’re wearing the proper protection. An N95 mask is perfect. Although a respirator is the better choice. However, if you don’t have access to a respirator, a mask will work just fine.
You can purchase these at your local supply store. Wear one when cleaning up the mold in your attic, bathroom, or kitchen. This will cut your chances of breathing in those harmful spores. If you’re treating an entire residential building, the same rules apply.
Ensure the mask fits snugly onto your face.
Mold is typical after a natural disaster or harsh storm. This can include: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and general excess moisture from standing water.
Who Is at the Greatest Risk for Mold?
Pets can also experience water damage health risks. If you find they are wheezing a lot, they may be breathing in the mold spores. Pet care is more involved than feeding your pet. You also need to make sure they are living in a safe environment where they can breathe properly.
People with asthma are also at a higher risk. The mold spores may affect them more than the average person, as they have weaker lungs.
While you may not notice that the mold becomes a serious problem, a loved one may.
People with weak immune systems are also at a higher risk for these water damage health risks. People diagnosed with HIV may also struggle to breathe in such an area. Patients undergoing chemotherapy are also at a higher risk and should be prioritized!
If you live with someone who has had an organ transplant, take action immediately. They are also at higher risk of developing harmful health issues.
When cleaning up the mold, keep in mind that these individuals should stay away from the area. Additionally, keep pets and younger children away from the mess.
What Are the Health Risks of Mold Exposure?
The average person who is simply sensitive to mold may experience a few of these symptoms. Itchy and red eyes, a stuffy nose, skin irritation, and wheezing are all quite common. Those that are more sensitive to the spores may develop mold infections in their lungs. These infections are rare and difficult to diagnose. However, they do happen and can be life-threatening if a medical professional does not intervene in time. Symptoms of this dangerous infection can include rapid weight loss, shortness of breath, fever, sinus-related symptoms, cough, severe night sweats, and dark scabs or blisters underneath the skin.
How to Prevent Mold
These symptoms sound frightening. But you should be safe if you take the proper precautions!
Fix Water Problems
Leaks are a common offender. Therefore, if you notice that there is a nagging and ongoing leak in the home, patch them up right away.
Leaks can be easily fixed by following these steps. However, if you feel as if you’re completely inexperienced with these matters, it’s always preferable to call a professional.
- Use an epoxy putty to seal off the leak for the time being. Turn off the water supply. Drain all of the water from the damaged line. Ensure that the area that needs to be patched is dry so that the epoxy putty will stick to the surface. Before applying the putty, knead it, so it’s more malleable. Apply it and allow it to cure. Wait and turn the water flow back on. Finally, check for leaks.
- You can also use tape to repair your leak. Make sure it’s a tape that has been specifically formulated to fix leaks!
- Patches and clamps are also popular methods to fix leaks and prevent moisture.
Dry Wet Areas of the Home Immediately
Open windows and doors in order to rid the area of excess moisture. When in doubt, move large items out and away from the home. This is especially useful for porous materials that have gotten excessively wet. You have a standard 48 hours to get rid of the moisture before the object is permanently damaged by the mold. The won’t be able to be cleaned and dried after this time frame.
Non cleanable items that are also porous can include:
- insulation materials
- ceiling tiles
- food items
To prevent this mold growth, you can also use a mild detergent and water mixture to clean the area.
The Environmental Protection Agency has a helpful guide to assist the everyday homeowner with mold removal and prevention. The EPA states that you must act fast if you suspect mold is in the home. It can grow and worsen over time.
Often, you will need to hire a contractor to help you with getting rid of the polluted water poisoning your home and threatening your livelihood.
Often, storing items is the only way to prevent mold. This can happen when families are undergoing natural disasters and water damage health risks. Floods can possess major risks, as they can destroy homes and cause your problems with mold to worsen.
Common Mistakes When Dealing With Mold
You should never mix bleach with cleaners like ammonia if you’re trying to get rid of mold and lower your risk of these water damage health risks.
Ammonia and bleach combine to form a deadly concoction. This can be made worse if you are cleaning a closed space, as it creates lethal fumes.
Microbial Volatile Compounds
Let’s break down why mold is so dangerous and how it causes these adverse reactions. This is an important step in understanding why you need to act as soon as possible when dealing with mold.
Another source of irritation from the mold substance comes from a material known as microbial volatile organic compounds. You can also refer to these as mVOCs. These compounds are produced in the air whenever fungal metabolism is released into the air. This is easily detectable — there is often an unpleasant odor. Exposure to these mVOCs from growing mold can irritate one’s eyes. This can also affect one’s respiratory systems. These mVOCs have also been linked to other symptoms like:
- nasal irritation
Watch Out for Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins can also negatively affect your health by causing water damage health risks.
Testing for Mold
Thankfully, there are ways to test for mold if you’re worried about water damage health risks.
Getting Tested for a Mold Allergy
Allergies can negatively impact your life. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn what you’re allergic to. If you’re a new homeowner, get tested for a mold allergy!
There are some top doctors who even suggest testing for mold-specific anti-bodies in the human body. These anti-bodies indicate that you have been exposed to this substance in the past. It doesn’t reveal how you contracted the anti-bodies. However, after taking this test, you will be able to confirm that there is mold within your home.
Sewage Restoration and Water
Sewage restoration may also be necessary if you have excess moisture! After cleaning up, using the steps listed above, look into restoring your sewage system.
Start by learning more about the three types of contaminated water. The first category is clean water. This category of water is typically from a clean water source. This water can come from a broken water supply line or from a leaking faucet. If this water is not treated in time, it can turn into a category 2 or 3. A variety of factors can affect this outcome. For example, whether it becomes a 2 or 3 class level depends on the amount of time you have neglected the leak. The temperature and surrounding contaminants also matter.
Next, you may also have gray water on your hands. This is also referred to as a category 2. This wanter can actually cause illness and calls for proper sewage restoration. Examples of this water can include overflowing water from a washing machine. Dishwater overflow is another example of gray water. Lastly, toilet water with the presence of bodily fluids is also another instance of gray water.
Lastly, you have a category three. This is also referred to as black water. Black water means that you will need sewage restoration indefinitely.
This water is grossly contaminated and can contain harsh chemicals, microbes, and untreated sewage. You can find black water in sewer backup and in flooded rivers.
Remember, treating this excess water is how you can stop mold, dead in its tracks!
When Should You Seek a Physician’s Care When Exposed to Spores and Mold
Before getting your septic tanks fixed, make sure your medical needs have been met first! Don’t neglect your health! Book an appointment with your physician. If they can’t see you right away, there are a handful of ways you can treat your symptoms.
Start by avoiding the allergen if possible If your symptoms are severe, ask a professional to help clean up the mold. Exposing yourself to it can cause your condition to worsen. You can also do a nasal rinse to flush out the mold spores from your nose. You can use a squeeze bottle. A bulb syringe also works! Fill up either of these tools with a saline solution. Squeeze it into one nostril at a time. Allow this water and saline solution to pour out the opposite side of your nose. Repeat these same steps on the other side.
Next up, antihistamines can also help with your running nose and itchy skin. Taking an over the counter medicine may also help with the non-stop sneezing.
Lastly, consider taking a nasal corticosteroid to reduce all of the inflammation you may be suffering while experiencing these mold-related symptoms.
However, don’t put off seeing your doctor, as these tips are not quick fixes for the water damage health risks you may be experiencing.
Water damage health risks are no joke. They can affect people on a variety of different levels. However, it is also incredibly avoidable. Ensure you’re taking the proper precautions in your home.
Also, understand how mold forms. It can happen whenever there is excessive moisture in the home. If you suspect your home and health may be under attack, act fast! Mold is normal. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous and can damage your home!