Monday, April 29, 2013

Health Concerns from Water Damage

Health Concerns From Water Damage

Respiratory Issues

Basically no fresh air = a full load of accumulating indoor pollutants. Fresh air purges indoor pollutants and renews oxygen. You have a lot of potential for indoor for indoor quality improvement with an air change of fresh air every 5-6 hours.

After water damage many issues arise from inhaling mold spores. The best defense against this is investing in an air purifier.  They filter mold spores and other allergens to help stop asthma or allergies. Air purifiers also prevent mold growth in the future. The best type of filter for an air purifier typically has a HEPA filter as well as an activated carbon filter that both work to remove any harmful particles or gasses from the air. the HEPA filter removes particles usually between 1-20 microns large while the activated carbon removes the mold odor  by absorbing VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which are off gassed from the mold.

Air purifiers do not kill mold that is already growing from water damage, they just filter out the spores floating around in the air which can cause damage to your lungs. This is why making sure everything is clean and free of moisture is very important. After any mold problem, there is always a little left over, this grows over time if not attended to. Spores even blow into your home from the outside which is why it is important to keep an eye everything. To limit your exposure you might also want to consider:

  • Removing any carpet found in bathrooms and use tile or linoleum instead.
  • Clean bathrooms and kitchens frequently because this is where the majority of water is in homes.
  • Use the exhaust fan in the bathroom when you are using the shower or in the kitchen when you are cooking.
  • Make sure to vent the clothes dryer outside of the house.
    • Be sure your clothes are dry before putting them in closets or dressers
  • If the humidity in your home exceeds 50%, use a dehumidifier for optimal air quality.
  • When painting your home, find paint which uses agents to suppress mold growth.
  • Check all downspouts around the home and be sure they are directing water away from the home.
    • Also not leaking in any cracks or pooling around the foundation
EPA's Asthma Website

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