After a flooding event occurs, often one of the first tasks a property owner faces is drying out the home or business. People need to be aware that water damage can not only result in damaged belongings and possible structural damage, but also create an unhealthy environment for building occupants.
Depending on the source and length of time any water and moisture have been allowed to remain in a structure, it may contain bacteria, viruses, mold, chemicals, and even protozoa. Even water damage due to clean water, known as Category 1 Water, can result in mold growth in as short as 24 hours. Category 2 Water, also known as Grey Water, typically contains a significant amount of biological or physical contaminants that can cause sickness when humans are exposed. Category 2 Water, that is not promptly removed or has remained stagnant for 48–72 hours, may be reclassified as Category 3 Water. Category 3 Water, also known as Black Water, is grossly contaminated. It may contain harmful pathogens, microbes, and chemicals that could cause serious illnesses.
“If not done correctly, the drying process can result in airborne contaminants being spread throughout a property,” reported Susan White, Ph.D., CMC, President of Sussex Environmental Health Consultants (SEHC), a Delaware based environmental consulting firm. “Not only can microbial contaminants become airborne, but materials in buildings that contain asbestos or lead-based paints may become aerosolized during the drying process. SEHC provides consulting and testing services to help ensure that water damaged properties are properly dried and that there is no threat to contractors and the building’s occupants.”
SEHC recently sponsored an online video about the hazards that may be encountered when drying out a property that can be seen at:
To learn more about SEHC’s indoor air quality (IAQ), environmental, or health and safety services, please visit http://www.sussexenvironmental.com, email susan.white@
About Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, LLC
SEHC is a certified woman owned business that provides environmental and health and safety consulting services. The company is located in the Mid-Atlantic and services customers nationwide. SEHC provides solutions to clients ranging from homeowners to Fortune 500 Corporations.