When people think about the consequences of flood damage, they often focus on the immediate damage and safety hazards caused by the flood. This often results in overlooking the potential safety hazards that can remain prevalent long after the flood took place.
In our experience at Pine Ridge Restoration, these hazards are sometimes the most dangerous. Here are six of these potential hazards to look out for after a flood.
Black water is floodwater that contains raw sewage. It is extremely toxic and can cause serious health problems and even death if not handled properly. If your home is flooded with black water, you should NOT try to clean it up. This is a job for professional water damage restoration technicians with the experience and equipment necessary to safely repair the damage and clean your home.
Because water conducts electricity so well, the fact that flooding can compromise the electrical systems in your home is extremely dangerous. If standing floodwater in your home becomes electrified, it could have deadly consequences. You should always shut your electricity off before entering standing floodwater just in case this has happened in your home.
Mold is often an inevitable result of water damage. Mold only needs 24-48 hours to begin growing after a flood so it doesn’t take long before a mold problem can develop. The spores that mold will spread throughout your home are known to cause a host of health problems such as allergy-like symptoms, fatigue, and more serious symptoms like bronchitis.
The appliances in your home cycle through hundreds of gallons of water every day. A small malfunction in any one of them can lead to floodwater spilling into your home. Make sure you make any repairs without delay and replace your appliances when necessary to prevent this from happening.
Most people don’t think of their gas lines being threatened due to flooding. However, downed trees or large amounts of rain can cause the ground to shift, resulting in misaligned or cracked gas pipes. Signs of damaged gas lines include a strong “rotten egg” smell and standing water that bubbles in unusual spots. If you do smell gas, don’t turn on lights, strike a match, use a cell phone, or stove/oven, or do anything that might cause a spark. Leave the area immediately and call your local gas company—never try to turn off the gas main yourself!
One understated hazard of water damage is that the excess moisture from a flood attracts all kinds of unwanted bugs and pests. These pests can be carriers of deadly diseases so it’s important that you remove the floodwater and moisture from your home as soon as possible so it doesn’t attract unwanted pests.
Don’t put yourself in any unnecessary danger after a flood! Give us a call at Pine Ridge Restoration if your home ever floods so we can help you stay safe and get back on your feet.