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A moldy situation: How a flooded basement can hurt your health

We all know that a flooded basement can be a logistical and financial headache, but did you realize that it can be a medical one too? Mold – a type of fungus that forms and spreads on damp or decaying matter – can start to grow within just 24-48 hours of a wall’s exposure to water. And the physical effects of mold can be serious.


Mold 101


Mold thrives on moisture. The fungus can be found outside on leaves, logs, and plants, or indoors in areas where there is excessive humidity, like bathrooms and kitchens. When a flood damages a basement’s walls mold is almost an inevitability. And the result, especially for those with mold allergies, can include a variety of physical conditions, including:

  •  Asthma

  •  Irritated nose, eyes, and throat

  •  Skin infections

  •  Sense of fatigue

  •  Reduced concentration

  •  Fever

  •  Nausea

  •  Headache

  •  Lung or respiratory issues


After one week, this sample drywall section started to show signs of mold growth. After three weeks, mold growth had become substantial and dangerous. (tested under laboratory conditions)

A full 10 percent of the population is sensitive to mold, and those with immune suppression or lung disease are also at higher risk of developing severe symptoms.

It is not an exaggeration to say that, for some, a house flood can lead to a serious medical

event.


What to do


For those with outdoor mold allergies, experts suggest limiting outdoor activities during peak mold season (July through the Fall). Masks can be helpful while cutting grass, raking leaves, or gardening.


It’s a little more complex for those with indoor mold allergies. The key is controlling moisture,

and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America advises homeowners to use central air

conditioner, air fans, or dehumidifiers; fix leaks; remove sources of dampness; and direct

rainwater drains away from the house. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends

maintaining an indoor humidity level of below 60 percent. (A hygrometer measures relative

humidity and is available at most hardware stores.)


And if your home floods, experts urge a full removal of water-damaged walls and other

materials within two days. The clock starts ticking the moment the water begins to permeate, so immediate action is critical.


If your home floods


When your home floods, or water damages its walls, the risk of mold exposure skyrockets.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency:


Flood water can make the air in your home unhealthy. This is because when things

remain wet for more than two days, they usually get moldy. Inhaling mold can cause

adverse health effects, including allergic reactions. Mold also can damage materials in

your home. In addition, flood water may contain microorganisms, such as bacteria, or

chemicals which may affect your health.


But luckily, there is a simple answer: the EnduraFlood™ Flood-Proof Basement Wall System.


The EnduraFlood Solution


EnduraFlood panels replace drywall several feet above floor level. Panels are waterproof,

replaceable and re-usable, and easy to install. So, when your home is overtaken by a flood, or an appliance pipe bursts and water flows, you no longer need to risk mold exposure through your walls (or inevitable time and financial expenditures). With EnduraFlood, you simply snap off west paneling, allow it to dry, and snap back into place. Your walls are good to go.


EnduraFlood wall panel systems help prevent the growth of mold after a flood, as the panels can easily be removed to allow the wall behind to dry out.

Best of all, the EnduraFlood panels are simply stunning. Perfect for a finished basement, living area, or even bedroom, the EnduraFlood walling adds both elegance and practicality.


Customers who experience a flood (and know another one is likely a season or two away) are installing EnduraFlood panels instead of signing on for multiple drywall reconstruction cycles.


And many customers who understand the medical, financial, and logistical complications

associated with flood damage are taking action before a storm hits. With EnduraFlood panels in place, they know they are protected from whatever water disaster may come.

Installation is easy for professional contractors and handy DIY-ers, and there is no dusty mess, like you get from traditional sheetrocking.


If you’re interested in keeping indoor mold at bay, contact us today to learn more about our

revolutionary EnduraFlood system. We can’t wait to share our product with you.


References

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/whatismold.html

https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-Are-the-Health-Effects-of-Mold-in-Your-House.aspx

https://www.aafa.org/mold-allergy

https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home

https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/resources-flood-cleanup-and-indoor-air-quality

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288651#mold-and-health

https://www.webmd.com/lung/mold-mildew

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