Six Dangers of Standing Water
Standing water in your home after a flood is a water damage disaster waiting to happen. In fact, one of the absolute worst things you can do is wait around before taking steps to ensure the quick removal of the standing floodwater. There are many reasons why this is the case and the damage can pile up quickly as standing is left in your home.
Floodwater is often originally contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants. When there is sewage in the water, specific types of bacteria that are common are E. coli and Salmonella. Even in floodwater that was clean to begin with, however, bacteria will begin to grow in the floodwater given enough time. You should be very cautious about coming into contact with floodwater that contains bacteria so you don’t get yourself sick.
One of the problems that become most apparent as standing water remains after a flood is mold. In just a short amount of time, mold can go from beginning to grow to becoming a pervasive problem spreading throughout your home. The health problems stemming from mold are usually minor symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, sneezing, irritated skin, red/itchy eyes. In more serious cases mold has been linked to asthma and (somewhat controversially) lung disease. However, contrary to what some people think, mold does NOT cause cancer.
Stagnant water will allow viruses to breed including the Norwalk virus and rotaviruses. Insects and mosquitoes may also carry other viruses. In essence, viruses are a serious concern from stagnant floodwater that should not be taken lightly.
The most common parasites in standing water are Entamoeba, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium. These may grow in clean water but are much more common in gray water and sewage.
Standing water poses a serious hazard to the structure of your home. The exposure to the water can ruin drywall, cause wood to swell, and possibly even ruin certain portions of your home so they need to be replaced completely.
Pests And Rodents
Stagnant water can also attract insects and rodents. Mosquitoes may carry malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika fever. Rats, mice, and other small rodents can carry a variety of bacteria and diseases. Not to mention, these pests and rodents are just plain gross and the last thing anyone wants to deal with in their home on top of water damage.