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What Health Hazards Can Water Damage Pose to My Property?

Water damage is more than an inconvenience; it can present a real hazard to your property and health. Unaddressed water damage can lead to significant structural issues in your home or building, and combined with the potential for mold growth, it can also pose significant health risks. Understanding these risks, their causes, and measures to mitigate them can help protect your property and health.

The Causes of Water Damage

Water damage can occur due to various reasons. These causes can significantly harm your property, including structural integrity compromise, loss, and severe health risks. Here are some common causes of water damage:

Natural Disasters:

  1. Large-scale phenomena like storms, hurricanes, and flooding can quickly cause extensive water damage. They can lead to immediate water inundation and secondary water offenses like leaks due to structural damage.
    • Storms and heavy rains can lead to instant flooding, especially if the property is in a low-lying area or has poor drainage.
    • Hurricanes and tropical storms: Along with immediate flooding, these can cause significant structural damage, leading to leaks.

Plumbing issues:

  1. These can span a spectrum from minor, gradual leaks to sudden breakages. Even small leaks can lead to significant water damage over time if left unnoticed.
    • Leaking Pipes: These can be caused by various issues like corrosion, clogs causing pressure build-up, or physical damage to the pipe.
    • Broken Seals: Most appliances with water connections have seals to prevent leaking. Aging or defective seals can start leaking.
    • Overflowing or Leaking Water Tanks: If the tank or its connections to the plumbing system develop leaks or an issue with the float mechanism, causing overflows, it can lead to water damage.

Structural Faults:

  1. Over time, buildings can develop structural weaknesses leading to water ingress, which can cause constant moisture build-up and eventual water damage.
    • Roof Damage: Over time, roofing materials can weaken or get damaged, leading to leaks, especially during rains.
    • Foundation Cracks: If a building’s foundation has cracks or gaps, water from the ground or run-off can seep in, leading to dampness and water damage over time.

Drainage Issues:

  1. Poor drainage can lead to water accumulation, thereby causing water damage.
    • External Drainage: If the external drainage system does not adequately carry away rainwater, it can accumulate and seep into the building.
    • Internal Drainage: Clogs and backups in sinks, showers, or major sewage lines can lead to overflows and water damage within the building.
  2. Each of these water damage causes requires different remedies and preventative measures. However, the first step in preventing water damage is always to understand what causes it.

The Health Hazards Posed by Water Damage

Respiratory Issues

One major health hazard posed by water damage is respiratory issues.

  • Prolonged exposure to damp and moldy environments can lead to an increased risk of respiratory illness. This is especially true for those with compromised immune systems or existing respiratory conditions.
  • Even for those without conditions, long-term exposure to damp and moldy environments can lead to the development of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Allergic Reactions

Many people are allergic to mold and other fungi in water-damaged buildings. These allergies can range from minor irritations to severe physical reactions.

  • Common allergens related to water damage include various species of mold and mildew.
  • The severity of allergic reactions can range from sneezing and coughing to severe respiratory distress.

Infections and Diseases

In addition to respiratory issues and allergies, water damage can expose inhabitants to various potential infections.

  • Waterborne bacteria, viruses, and fungi can flourish in damp environments created by water damage.
  • These pathogens increase the risk of contracting waterborne diseases, ranging from skin and eye infections to more severe conditions like leptospirosis or hantavirus.

Preventing Water Damage and Its Associated Health Risks

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

One of the best ways to prevent water damage is through regular maintenance and inspections.

  • By monitoring potential leaks and moisture build-up, you can address any issues before they lead to significant damage.
  • Particularly, a well-maintained plumbing system can greatly reduce the risk of water damage.

Improving Ventilation and Controlling Humidity

Keeping your property properly ventilated and managing your indoor humidity can greatly reduce the chances of mold growth and accumulation of moisture.

  • Good ventilation helps to reduce humidity and prevent the accumulation of moisture, key factors in the growth of molds and mildew.
  • Managing your indoor humidity through air conditioners, dehumidifiers, or other means can help maintain a dry environment on your property.

Handling Water Damage: When to Call a Professional

Determining the Severity of the Damage

Sometimes, it can be challenging to tell how much damage water has done.

  • Major and minor water damage might look similar initially, but their impacts and the necessary repairs can significantly differ.
  • In many cases, getting experts, just like folks at PuroClean Canada, to precisely assess the damage is crucial. They offer excellent residential and commercial property damage restoration services, making your property as good as new.

Professional Water Damage Restoration Services

If the damage has become too severe, it might be time to call the professionals.

  • Professional water damage restoration involves thoroughly draining, drying, and disinfecting the affected area, which might be impossible to achieve with DIY remedies.
  • Experts such as PuroClean water damage restoration services have the necessary tools and expertise. Still, their specimens can often handle insurance claims and paperwork, which can be particularly crucial after severe incidents.


Understanding the health risks of water damage and taking proactive steps to prevent these can help keep your property safe. By engaging professional services when necessary, you safeguard your health and the longevity of your property. Always remember that prevention and early intervention are key to water damage.