Disasters can happen anywhere and at any time. Some are more common than others, depending on where you live, but overall, floods and fires are two common disasters that pose a possible danger to anyone, regardless of where you live. However, even after the disaster passes, dangers may still lurk inside the home. If you would like to know more, check out these three possible dangers after a disaster.
1. Water Damage
After a flood, you likely have some water damage, but putting out a fire can also lead to water damage. Even a little exposure to water can lead to minor water damage, but the longer the material is exposed, the worse the damage. Water affects different materials in different ways.
Wood absorbs water well, which leads to rotting and warping of the wood. Once this damage occurs, it can’t be reversed, so replace the damaged wood. Porous fabrics like carpets, sofas, rugs, and curtains also absorb water incredibly well. In fact, they absorb water so well that fully cleaning them is hard. This is problematic if the flood water contains any contaminates, such as road runoff or human waste.
Similarly, drywall, another porous material, quickly deteriorates when exposed to water. Any wood, carpet, fabrics, and drywall need immediate drying to prevent more deterioration.
Your home’s foundation is also at risk of water damage. This takes time, but eventually, water wears down concrete, eroding it. Cracks in the foundation exacerbate this process. This could lead to a cracked foundation, sinking foundation, or flooded basement.
Another reason to dry out materials as soon as possible is to prevent mold growth. Mold can grow on many materials, but it prefers porous materials like carpets and drywall. Mold often grows on the underside of carpets and the inside of the walls, so it is hard to see. If visible mold does develop, it may look slimy or powdery and appear green, brown, black, yellow, or white.
Even if you do not see mold, you may smell it: a musty odor. If left untreated, mold will continue to grow, and exposure to molds can cause irritation, especially to those with allergies or asthma. In rare cases, deadly black mold may develop. If any mold develops, you will probably need to replace the affected materials.
3. Smoke Damage
After a fire, even if materials are not burnt, they may have smoke damage. The smoke gets into many porous materials like the carpet and your clothing. When disturbed, the smoke particles float into the air where you can inhale them. In minor cases, this can lead to eye, nose, and throat irritation, but in extreme cases, it can cause more severe issues, including death.
People with heart and lung disease are at higher risk of developing complications form smoke damage. Children and developing fetuses are also at higher risk of complications because they are still developing. Depending on the materials burned in the fire, the particles may also contain hazards, such as chemicals from plastics.
Luckily, most smoke damage can be cleaned. However, hire a professional because they have the right equipment to stay safe. If you try to vacuum your carpet, for example, it may expel a lot of smoke particles into the air. If you do not have the right equipment, this could be dangerous.
Disasters are common, but that does not mean you have to live with the aftermath. Smoke damage, water damage, and mold can cause real health risks, but professionals can help give you back your home. If you would like to know more, contact us at Disaster Masters today.