Water damage is one of the more unpleasant parts of being a homeowner. When the roof that’s leaking is your responsibility to fix, there’s a lot of weighing pros and cons while you try to work out how to handle it. For huge flooding, the answer the is obvious: call your insurance company and bring in a water damage restoration team. For small leaks, however, people are tempted to let it ride. They’ll get help for it after next paycheck, or maybe it will just dry itself out once you get a few sunny days in a row. There are real health consequences for letting even minor leaks go, and the main one is mold growth.
It can take as little as 48 hours for a puddle of dampness on one wall to start growing mold. It doesn’t matter whether or not your leak was from a clean source. The difference in time that it takes to grow mold is so slight as to be inconsequential; the spores that grow mold come not from the water itself (or, they don’t have to) but from the air. Mold spores are pollens, and they are present in varying quantities everywhere you go. They only become dangerous when there’s a higher quantity of them.
When mold sets in, you can see the patches and color. What you can’t see are the spores that it’s releasing. These are filling the air in a steady stream, and can cause some nasty side affects.
Frequent mold symptoms
Mold is a frequent culprit for aggravating allergies and asthma. Asthma may cause serious attacks requiring the use of rescue inhalers or additional daily medication to control. Mold spores can make you cough, sneeze, or itch. The worst parts are those you can’t readily see: an inflammation in the lungs, a collection of fluid down the throat. Eyes and nose membranes may also experience discomfort.
Who’s especially vulnerable
Anyone with respiratory weaknesses or strain is most at risk, whether you’re a smoker, frequent exerciser, or are just getting over a cold. However, those who suffer most at the hands of spores are the very young and the very old. People with compromised respiratory systems (as almost everyone has as they age) are very sensitive to this problem. Children tend to experience more severe allergic reactions than adults to things like hay fever, and a mold infestation can look like very advanced hay fever.
DIY mold repair
If you have a small puddle that’s dried up and you’re looking to save the floor or wall that it was on, the first thing you should do is worry about mold. There are plenty of nontoxic disinfectants that you can apply that will stop or drastically inhibit mold growth. For rugs, pillows, and furniture that you think can be saved there’s a simple DIY solution. Mix two parts white vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle and apply liberally to what you want to save. The vinegar can help kill mold and will quickly evaporate. It doesn’t smell the best, but the smell will go away as the vinegar dries. For more drastic mold repairs, or for mold that keeps reoccurring after being DIY’d away, call a water damage restoration team. The problem could be worse than you think.
The effects of water damage on your health can be pronounced. A prompt response to water leaking, pooling, or standing can stop mold growth in its tracks. For jobs that are too big to tackle alone, a water restoration team can remove the mold-tainted portion of the house and help you get something safe back for your family and personal welfare.