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Flood Water Clean-Up and Indoor Air Quality: Things You Should Know

Do you know that flood clean-up and the air in your home are related? Air quality after a flood is something you should be concerned about, as it can pose severe health threats to you and your family. In many cases, it’s not enough to simply mop the floor—you should consult with a professional flood clean-up service to restore your home as soon as possible so that you can protect your health and prevent further damage to your belongings and your property. Failing to remove the standing water or water damaged furniture can pose serious long-term health risks as it allows viruses, bacteria, and mould to grow. These kinds of organisms can trigger allergic reactions, continue to damage materials after the flood has been cleaned up, and even cause diseases. This is why it is so important to take immediate action at the sight of water damage to your home. If you act within 48 hours of the flood, you can significantly reduce the risks.
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How Is Flooding Related to Indoor Air Quality?

Residents and homeowners, especially those who live in flood-prone areas, need to be prepared to safeguard against a flood. One of the major residential air quality problems associated with floods is mould. Not every type of mould is a health hazard, but it depends on the type, amount, and degree of exposure, as well as the health conditions of the occupants. The effects of mould on your health can vary, from being insignificant to causing illness and allergic reactions. Another problem associated with floods is radon. Radon is a gaseous substance that is formed when uranium, a natural radioactive material found in all rock and soil, is broken down. This gas can seep into your home from any available openings, even in winter months when windows and doors are closed. It is impossible to accurately project the radon levels in your home unless the indoor air is tested. That is why in the event of a basement flood, you should have the air quality of your home tested as well. Prolonged exposure to radon gas can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, along with several other health conditions.

How Home Flooding Reduces the Indoor Air Quality

When you have a home flood, the indoor air quality plummets in the aftermath. Even with small floods, water can seep into tiny spaces that you cannot typically see. For example, water can be absorbed by the drywall or drip inside cracks in the foundation. If this situation is not quickly dealt with, mould can start to develop, and with high humidity, it can quickly multiply. If you are a handy person and are considering handling the situation on your own, the reconstruction process can also be dangerous to your health. When floods occur and residents are exposed to contaminated surfaces and air in the home, it can cause respiratory and immune system issues. Depending on where the water is coming from, you may be exposed to microbiological contaminants that are linked to asthma, lower respiratory issues, rhinosinusitis, and rhinoconjunctivitis. Mould has also been associated with sinus problems such as coughing, wheezing, asthma exasperations, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and other nasal and throat symptoms. Since mould does not need light to grow, it can live and breed in dark and hidden areas such as your basement, behind walls, or in the attic. Mould can grow on numerous surfaces including the HVAC system, behind wallpaper, on ceiling tiles, or on flooring materials including carpet under padding.

If you notice condensation or water puddling in your basement, chances are that there is mould growing somewhere close by. Professionals can fix the moisture problem, either by locating the source of the leak or by dehumidifying the entire area. Using health department recommendations, they will proceed to thoroughly clean the area to bring it back to a good condition for you and your family. Professional flood clean-up companies can also help to ensure that any residue of lead paint, asbestos, or other harmful chemicals do not end up in your lungs, on your skin, or on your clothes. These companies do more than clean up the mess for you; they can also help identify the dangers that the human eye cannot catch. Your health and that of your family is more important than the financial savings you might get from trying to handle the situation on your own. Even more, if you are not able to do the job properly, there can be further problems along the way.

Why Flood Clean-Up Is Important for Your Indoor Air

Flood clean-up services can help you in ways that you may not even consider. Professionals can test for radon and determine how to fix high levels of radon; they can reduce asthma triggers in the air; prevent mould by controlling the moisture in the environment; and properly maintain your ventilation system. Flood remediation usually includes steps such as drying all wet materials, removing water soaked flooring and damaged furniture, replacing wallcoverings and drywall, disinfecting and washing all interior wall cavities, drying the remaining structure, and treating the area with a chemical biostatic agent. Good ventilation is also an essential part of remediating. If you are experiencing ear infections, sinus infections, or respiratory problems, you may be dealing with a problem with your indoor air quality.

Flood Clean-Up Services in Vaughan

If you are dealing with a basement flood caused by a river or creek overflowing its banks, heavy rain, or plumbing issues, water damage clean-up is available quickly and at an affordable cost. Flood Services Canada provides flood clean-up in Vaughan, and we use state-of-the-art equipment and protection to get the job done efficiently so you can go back to normal. Dealing with a basement flood is always a challenge—so much must be considered, including the air quality. Flood Services Canada has responded to numerous 24/7 flood damage clean-ups in the GTA and knows the steps required to efficiently get your basement water-free and your home safe and livable again. To reach our emergency hotline, call us at (416) 999-3930.

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Chad Vanvari

Chad Vanvari has over 20 years of experience as a cleaning & restoration professional. He started out in Montreal, establishing a commercial carpet cleaning company in the early 1990’s. By 2001, Chad had relocated to Toronto and now had extensive knowledge and experience in responding to fire/water related emergencies. He has been instrumental in the cleanup of several catastrophic floods. Currently, Chad is the president and owner of Flood Services Canada, a 24/7 emergency service restoration company.