Musty Mould and Mildew – Health Risks

mould and mildew health risks

Doesn't the miserable, wet weather just make you want to curl up in a blanket with a hot cup of coffee and stay inside? Wouldn't you just be so much safer and drier? Well with lots of rain comes floods, leaks, and water coming into the house. Your beautiful soft carpets get saturated, your comfy couch soaked, walls dripping with water, and suddenly you're thinking about going outside. 

Sometimes water damage can seem pretty mild, and you might end up leaving it for another day – but don't make this mistake. When it comes to water in the house, this is the perfect environment for the growth of mould and mildew. Not only does this create an unpleasant, musty smell, but it also poses threats to your health.

Activated Allergic Reactions 

If you've got wet carpets that have mildew growing, breathing in these bacteria spores can trigger allergic reactions. This nasty bacteria enflames your nasal cavity and can wreak havoc across the sinuses. Wheezing, sneezing, and coughing are just some of the symptoms experienced. It can also create eye irritability, itchiness, and skin problems. People who have allergies can be more sensitive to mould and bacteria. Those with suppressed immunity or existing lung disease are more vulnerable to fungal infections.

Respiratory Issues

The more severe your home's water damage is, the more vulnerable you are to mould spores. This can greatly affect your respiratory system, causing issues such as tuberculosis, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. In the case that too many of these spores are breathed in, bronchoconstriction can occur, symptomized by shortness of breath and wheezing. If you leave your water-damaged home and carpet for too long, aspergilloma can populate; a nasty fungal growth that creates indefinite lung and airway damage.

Skin Irritation

Not only do these mould and mildew spores enter your airways and cause damage, but they can also wreak havoc on your skin when in contact. By simply walking barefoot on your musty, mouldy, and mildewy carpet, you are at risk of getting hives or eczema. These issues will just deteriorate if the mould and mildew are not treated. Other viral infections can occur to your skin if you come into contact with the carpet, creating serious irritation, inflammation, and itching. These health issues can get severe enough that you may require immediate medical attention. 

What can you do?

Life is busy enough as it is, nobody needs unnecessary health concerns brought on by untreated water damage that could've been prevented! 

If your home gets damaged by water, here are some easy tips on taking immediate action, even if you've called us or your insurance company first:

  1. Water removal – if you've located the source of water entry to your home, do what you can to stop this. If it's a flood, sandbags, a water pump, or even a squeegee will come in handy if you have these around. If it's a burst pipe, turn off your water supply. If it's a leak in the roof, pop a bucket under the leak, and only if it is safe to do so, lay a tarpaulin over the hole in the roof.
  2. Dehumidify – any appliance that can remove moisture from the air will be extremely useful to begin drying, a dehumidifier or fan can be set up in the most affected room.

For even more thorough instructions on drying out your home following a flood or leak, check out our other blogs on DIY Wet Carpet Drying & Restoration Tips and How to Clean and Dry Wet Furniture.

Give us a call

At the end of the day, water entering your home is a pretty stressful situation to find yourself in. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and struggle to think of the right thing to do. If you ever find yourself in such a pickle, simply pick up the phone and give us a call. Our friendly team of flood restoration experts are well trained to provide you with the advice you need to take that first step towards remediation.

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