The Dangers of Stagnant Water

puddled water in basement

Water damage can occur all at once or seep slowly into your home over time. Whether it is a flood or a slow leak it is very important to know the dangers of water damage within the home. The longer water is stagnant and sits within the home the more likely it is to become hazardous to your health and the cleanup becomes more extreme.

WHAT IS STAGNANT WATER
Stagnant water within your home is synonymous with standing water. This is water that sits in a single place of your home such as a basement, under the carpet, etc. Stagnant water can come from a clean source or a contaminated source. Clean sources of water include, water from a burst pipe or rain water from a leak in the ceiling, this type of water does not bring in contaminants with it, but as we discuss later in this article if this type of water is not cleaned up in a timely matter it can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Examples of contaminated sources of water damage within your home include flooding and backed up sewage. Water damage from flooding might seem harmless, but ground water brings in many bacteria’s and potential chemicals and pesticides from outdoors. These types of water intrusion are already filled with bacteria and potential disease, so the longer the water sits within your property the longer the contaminants will have to multiply.

STAGNANT WATER HEALTH RISKS
Sitting water brings with it a lot of health risks. Sitting water is a breeding ground for many kinds of bacteria fungi (mold), and parasites and mosquitoes who help carry these diseases to humans. There are other potential dangers of stagnant water aside from harmful bacteria and disease. The longer water sits the more likely mold will start to grow. Within just 48 hours of water being within the home, mold damage will start to take root.

Another problem that stagnant water brings into the home includes insects and rodents. Many bugs are attracted to sitting water and other insects actually breed within stagnant water such as mosquitoes. Rats, mice and other small rodents have been known to be attracted to sitting water in basements and garages. The key to avoiding these problems is to get rid of water as soon as it is identified. The longer you wait to remove water from your home increases the chances of running into these related problems.

HOW TO GET RID OF STAGNANT WATER
To avoid health issues, and to get rid of the problem all together it is recommended to call a water damage specialist like us to clean up stagnant water. Water restoration teams like ours are trained professionals in removing hazardous water and cleaning the area thoroughly to make sure no future problems arise. Again, it is not advised that you clean up stagnant water yourself. This is due to the contaminants in the water and if not properly dried the appearance of mold.

  1. Remove the Water: The first step a water restoration specialist will take is to assess the damage caused by stagnant water and work to immediately remove it. Removing the water is only the beginning. They extract the water using a high-powered pump or vac depending on how much water is present.
  2. Dry the Impacted Area: The next step in the process is the most important and that is drying. The affected area is dried with heavy-duty fans over a long period of time. It isn’t enough to dry the parts that are viewable. You want to get rid of every bit of moisture in the area. Doing so will help prevent mold in the future.
  3. Clean & Restore: Next is to get the damaged area back to a like-new condition. This is done by cleaning the carpet, replacing drywall, repainting, etc.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT STAGNANT WATER
Is it bad to drink stagnant water?
Yes. Stagnant water can often contain malaria and dengue among many other bacteria or parasites that can pose major health risks.

Why does stagnant water smell bad?
You are probably referring to the “rotten egg” smell that is often found in standing water. This is hydrogen sulfide which is produced from bacteria breaking down plant or animal matter. It is especially prevalent in low oxygen waters including stagnant water

Do mosquitoes breed in stagnant water?
Yes. Standing water is the perfect environment for breeding and for the larvae to grow. Larvae need nonmoving water rich with microorganisms to eat. Standing water provides a variety of bacteria and parasites perfect for feeding. Mosquitoes become a health risk as they can carry with them and transfer disease and bacteria.

What can you get from stagnant water?
Legionnaires’ disease, Malaria, Dengue are some of the more dangerous and common issues.

Source: https://www.restorationlocal.com/restoration-blog/the-dangers-of-stagnant-water/

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