Indoor Air Quality Needs to be a Top Priority Following any Flood
The building science professionals at Clark Seif Clark (CSC) are experts at identifying health and safety concerns in all types of buildings.
Depending on the type of water that has entered a building and how long it is present, it can play a significant role in how the water damage could impact a person’s health and even how the building needs to be remediated.
While some parts of the country have had a relatively dry spring, other regions have experienced heavy rains that have resulted in flooding events and water damage to homes and buildings. During flood cleanup, the future indoor air quality (IAQ) of a building may appear to be the least of one’s problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity in a timely manner can present serious long-term health concerns for building occupants.
Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria and mold. Many of these contaminants can become airborne and if inhaled could potentially cause disease and trigger allergic reactions long after the flood. If floodwater contains sewage or decaying animal carcasses, infectious disease is a significant concern. Even when flooding is due to just rainwater, the growth of microorganisms can cause allergic reactions, trigger asthma attacks in susceptible individuals and cause other conditions in some people.
Moisture in a building is an IAQ concern for a number of reasons, including:
• Any microorganisms or chemicals brought into a building with flood waters may present an immediate health concern.
• High humidity and moist materials provide ideal environments for the growth of microorganisms that were already present in the home prior to the flood.
• Long-term increases in humidity in a building can foster the growth of dust mites which are a major cause of allergic reactions and act as an asthma trigger for some people.
“Depending on the type of water that has entered a building and how long it is present, it can play a significant role in how the water damage could impact a person’s health and even how the building needs to be remediated,” said Franco Seif, President of Clark Seif Clark. “The water damage and indoor air quality professionals at Clark Seif Clark provide consulting and testing services to identify areas of concern and develop solutions to safely resolve the problem.”
CSC recently sponsored an educational video about flood cleanup and indoor air quality concerns that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/3Q1tnHFkPF0
To learn more about this or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit www.csceng.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 807-1118.
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address environmental, IAQ, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.
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