Water damage is a fairly common subject and often not taken as seriously as it should be. Water damage can start as small as a pipe leak or be as big as a flood, either way, the damages need to be taken care of quickly and by a professional. If the proper precautions are not taken and repairs are not made within 24-48 hours, the damage can affect both your home and your health.
Water damage is not always visible. It can be hidden underneath carpet or behind walls, all while it is destroying important structural elements and creating mold, bacteria, and viruses. This is why when you see even the slightest evidence of water damage, it is extremely important to have a professional inspect the area for any possible problems or damage.
Untreated water damage poses a great threat to your health. The water can cause mold and other viruses and bacteria to form inside your home, contaminating the air supply. All of these things start to develop within 24 hours, so it is important to try to seal off the area as best you can and avoid any exposure until you can get a professional to take a look at everything.
Mold is often referred to as the "silent killer" due to its elusiveness and dangers. Even if you are not allergic to it, mold can lead to breathing problems, flu-like symptoms and fatigue. You can also develop an allergy and have allergic reactions such as itchy eyes, runny nose, headaches, sinus problems, nausea, dizziness and trouble breathing. These affects are especially dangerous in children, who are at great risk of developing asthma due to the exposure.
Mold can also cause more serious diseases such as bleeding lungs, cancer, ameobiasis, cholera and typhoid fever. All of these diseases start out with simple symptoms such as the ones listed above but these diseases are incredibly dangerous and potentially life threatening.
Although your immediate health is the biggest threat of water damage left untreated, you will also have to worry about potential structural damage. Water leaks and floods are likely to have visible effects on the structure of your home such as sagging walls and ceilings. However, you can not assume that what you see is all that needs to be repaired. It is important to look for any other potential threats such as wood that may have been affected. Water damaged wood will swell and warp, causing issues with their ability to perform the job they were constructed to do. Untreated floors and ceilings are in danger of collapsing unexpectedly.
Electrical issues caused by water leakage are a huge safety threat. Water can enter the walls and thus the electrical wiring system of your home. This puts you at great risk of an electrical fire or even electrocution. After discovering water damage, it is important to keep clear of any electrical threats. You are not only at risk of electrocution but also electrical and thermal burns.
Dealing with water damage within 24 hours is incredibly important for the sake of your health and safety. By dealing with the damage immediately, you lower your risk for any sort of health problem related to the damage. You will also save yourself money by minimizing the structural damage caused by the water. There is no benefit to waiting on the repairs, so it is important to act as quickly as possible. Regardless of who repairs the water damage, it is often recommended that you schedule a mold inspection around 6 months later. If the damage was not repaired properly or completely, an inspection will let you know very quickly.