Updated: Jul 17, 2020
It’s not just about warped wood and moldy tiles. Water damage could be affecting your house this very moment, quietly putting you and your family’s health at risk. It’s vitally important to understand both the causes and effects of water damage.
What is Water Damage?
“Water damage” is a term used to describe the variable property damages incurred by the existence of water in places it was never meant to be. This damage includes, but is by no means limited to, the rotting, warping and molding of the wood in your home. The most obvious cause of water damage is the flooding sometimes resulting from catastrophic weather events like hurricanes or tropical storms. In these cases, the damage to your home (soaked drywall, stained furniture, rust) is immediate and costly.
Yet there’s a bright side to water damage caused by flooding: oftentimes it’s impossible to ignore. The owner will usually takes action right away to remedy the situation, limiting long-term health risks. After major floods, the most dangerous effects of water damage are usually nipped in the bud.
Yet water damage can have many different causes. And, where a devastating flood will demand your undivided attention, some of the other causes of water damage don’t announce their presence quite as conveniently. Old rotting pipes could leak water into your house’s foundation; leaky washing machine hoses could, over time, cause a dangerous buildup of water; and consistently-high humidity levels in your basement could all put your home at risk for water damage. Unaware of these lesser-known causes of water damage, you could go weeks, months or even years before finally taking action.
How Can Water Damage Threaten Your Health?
Many homeowners have no idea that water damage can pose considerable risks to the human body. Whenever excess moisture is allowed to collect, mold usually follows. Soon, if untreated, the mold can give birth to dangerous spores that can travel freely through the air. Taken into your lungs, these spores can cause serious respiratory issues. Once in your system, mold can reproduce quickly, hampering the proper functioning of your internal organs. Particularly dangerous to children and the elderly, as well as people with weak immune systems, the effects of mold grow more serious over time. If hidden water damage has given rise to mold, you could be putting your health at risk with every breath you take. And the worst part: you may not figure this out for months or years!
How Can You be Sure Your Home is Free of Water Damage?
Once you’re familiarized with the potential dangers of undetected water damage, it's important that you learn how to spot it. You can start by searching your home for any visible water stains. This may seem like an obvious step to take, but, unless you know to look for water damage in the first place, you may have overlooked the basic warning signs for months. Check the wood around your doors and windows for dampness and/or discoloration. Check behind the washer and drier for dampness and/or puddles. Search for the same on any wood/metal surfaces in your basement. Keep your nostrils open too: you can usually smell the presence of mold (it can smell a lot like mildew). If you find anything suspect, call a water-damage professional to come and take a look. The damage could be nothing serious, but it’s best not to take the chance. Not when your health is at risk.
The effects of serious, flood-related water damage are easy to spot. But detecting smaller-scale water damage can require a bit more proactively on the part of the homeowner. It’s worth it. A rotten foundation can be repaired, but there are no guarantees that money can save you from the potentially serious health issues associated with hidden, long-term water damage. When in doubt, call a professional.
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If you're ready for a free water damage inspection we can help. Murray Restoration can have certified technicians on-site within hours.
5900 S 58th St
Lincoln, NE 68516
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