It can be difficult to know what to do after your home suffers significant water damage. The effects can be wide-ranging, but the most immediate priority is typically to ensure that everyone in your home is safe and to address major damage that prevents the property from being healthy to occupy. Many people focus on physical damage and don’t think about the other ways that an unwanted or unexpected water intrusion can cause harm. Read on to learn how water damage can affect your health.
Can water damage affect your health?
Water damage can be dangerous, but even after you and your home are out of immediate danger, the negative effects can linger. One of the most significant ways water damage can impact your health is through the air. A water intrusion, especially one that involves flood water, can cause the air in your home to be unhealthy to breathe. This is often due to the presence of mold. Inhaling mold, especially on a regular basis, can have serious health effects beyond just triggering allergies.
The humid indoor environment triggers both the growth of mold as well as the development of dust mites. Allergic sensitization to these pollutants can cause or worsen a number of health conditions including asthma, allergic rhinitis, fungal sinusitis, and hives. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis can also be caused by mold growth, though the causes are likely immunologic rather than allergic. This can also cause repeated incidences of both pneumonia and pulmonary fibrosis.
Unwanted moisture can often be let in by a roof that is in poor condition or leaking. If you have any concerns about your roof or think you may need roof repair, it’s worth having a technician come and inspect yours. Look for a contractor like this one that provides top roof repair in Phoenix. They even provide free checkups and roof inspections for homeowners who aren’t sure if they need a roof repair or roof replacement.
What can you do to improve air quality after water intrusion?
There are several ways that homeowners can address poor air quality, especially in the aftermath of water damage. The first and most obvious step is to repair the cause of the damage. Roof leaks will naturally be easier and faster to repair than storm damage or flooding, but no matter what caused the damage to your home, you need to address it in a timely manner.
A HEPA room air purifier can be a great way to improve both airflow and air quality. It can be particularly helpful for those with allergies. Though an air purifier may not eliminate allergens entirely, it can reduce the presence of common contaminants like pet dander and dust mites. Just make sure you get a purifier that is appropriate for the size of the room you intend to use it in.
You should also make sure your HVAC unit is in good working order. Your HVAC system plays a major role in filtering out irritants and contaminants in the air. Without regular maintenance, it won’t operate at peak efficiency. You should have it inspected annually and the filter changed every 90 days.
It’s never easy to deal with water damage in your home, but a good place to start is by hiring the expert help you need to deal with the physical damage. The health effects of water damage can take a longer time to deal with, but they can be even more dangerous. The presence of additional dust and mold can cause minor irritations like allergic reactions, headaches, and even hives. They can also result in more serious infections and illnesses, some of which can recur over time. Instead of putting yourself and your family at risk, it’s essential that you address the source of the water intrusion and take steps to keep your home safe as soon as possible.