Any water accumulating and any increase in moisture and humidity can lead to not only property damage and health problems but also indoor air quality problems. Standing water can lead to bacteria, mold and microorganisms to form and become airborne. If there is a flood and the water contains sewage it can lead to allergic reactions and other conditions that are sensitive to individuals. According to the National Safety Council excess moisture in a home or in an indoor environment is an indoor air quality in three ways:
- Microorganisms in floodwaters may present a health hazard. These organisms can penetrate deep into soaked, porous materials and later be released into air or water. Coming in contact with air or water that contains these organisms can cause illness.
- High humidity and moist materials provide ideal environments for the excessive growth of microorganisms that are always present in the home. These situations may result in additional health concerns such as allergic reactions.
- Long-term increases in humidity in the home can also foster the growth of dust mites. Dust mites are a major cause of allergic reactions and asthma.
The Indoor Air Quality Network has a video about Flood Cleanup and Indoor Air Quality with additional information on this subject. Keep in mind that any material that can’t be dried up completely needs to discarded because any remaining water or moisture is just an opportunity for bacteria and microorganisms to build up.