How Wet Basements and Crawl Spaces Can Affect Your Health
There are four major health hazards of having a wet basement or crawl space and these hazards are a formation of: bacteria, mold, dust mites and pests. Since 2013, almost 27% of insurance claims accounted for were for water damage. This information classifies that having a wet basement is a common problem that is usually experienced no matter what type of household, whether the house is rented or owned. Having a wet basement or crawl space can cause several hazardous problems to an individual and there are certain reasons why this sort of situation occurs. Crawl spaces are normalized in American households and almost 27 million Americans prefer having one. On the other hand, almost all Americans are unaware of the hazards a wet basement or crawl space may cause to their health.
During winter and spring season, water damage is common due to the melting of snow and heavy rainfall. Houses with foundation cracks are prone to water damage. If this happens, water passes through the cracks and if left unnoticed and untreated, this causes it to spread over time. A wet basement or crawlspace can cause problems such as: mold, mildew and fungus growth. All of which are bacteria and dangerous to one’s health because mold can cause respiratory problems in the long run.
Mold thrives in moist conditions, it has different colors for which are: black, brown, yellow, pink and green. When mold releases spores in the air, the air becomes infested with fungus. When the mold is inhaled or touched, symptoms may start manifesting from a headache, sneezing, coughing, irritation, watery nose and watery eyes or eye infection and prolonged untreated symptoms may even further complicate to chronic sinus infections and eventually, that could possibly lead to death. There are several reports that the usual people who are at high-risk of developing this are people who have a history of allergies especially to dust or pollen and most especially to people who have an existing respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, it is important to take note that anyone can be affected by the bacteria when it is touched or inhaled. As mold grows faster in moist areas, the mold can grow in surfaces like wood, fabric or paper. Within 24 hours of flooding, the mold can begin to grow, it would then have a musty odor that can be smelled all throughout the house.
Another health hazard are dust mites. Dust mites thrive in humid environments. These are hard to be seen and can only be seen with the use of a microscope. Dust mites live under fabric areas, carpet, beds, sofas and even clothes. Although dust mites are different from mold, it also has the same effect on one’s health, affecting an individual’s respiration that could trigger asthma or give an allergic reaction.
A wet basement or crawl space can also cause a rodent infestation. Rodents prefer to live in an environment that is warm and moist, which can be the result of a basement or crawl space that is wet or leaky. Having rodents in a household can cause several alarming health concerns because it’s possible for rodents to transmit diseases. If one is either bitten or scratched, you can develop an infectious disease called Rat-Bite fever. A rodent’s urine or saliva can also be very dangerous. Rodents carry a significant amount of bacteria and viruses which include leptospirosis, hantaviruses and lymphotic choriomeningitis virus. All of these viruses can cause death. Aside from the viruses, rodents can also cause furniture, cable, and wiring damage. If cables get chewed, the chewed wires can cause electrical destruction, more so if the environment around it is wet or leaky, becoming a fire risk or electrocution hazard. It’s important to know that these certain hazards it may cause can not only be illness but it can be structural damage to your home.
Keeping your basement or crawl space dry is not only good for your comfort at home, but it’s important for your health. Foundation Solutions 360 is here to help you keep both you and your home healthy and safe. For all your basement waterproofing and crawl space repair needs, call us at 855-532-5360 or request a free estimate today!