A flooded home or business does as much damage to property and possessions as a fire or a severe windstorm or tornado. Everything that the flood waters touch are corrupted forever. Most of the property and possessions have to be thrown out and discarded because once the flood waters soaks into them the items becomes tainted with disease, harmful chemicals and other caustic substances.
Flood waters contain raw sewage, both from inside and outside a structure, bacteria, viruses, pesticides, fertilizers, petroleum residues, mold and many other harmful materials. Cleaning up the water once the flood subsides is one thing, and it can be done in time, but the residue, or secondary damage can be the greatest damage if certain procedures are not followed.
Mold comes from a microscopic spore that is airborne and if it meets certain conditions, will grow profusely. All mold needs is a dark place with no moving air, and a supply of moisture. Well, in a flood situation, even after the cleanup of the aftermath of the flood, the mold may have already taken hold behind a wall, in an attic or a crawl space. If allowed to continue it can get into people’s lungs, sinuses and breathing passages and cause a lot of health problems.
The same problem can occur with bacteria, which can also grow at a rapid rated in conditions that occur in a flood. Keep in mind that flood waters can contain raw sewage, coming from the overflow of municipal sewage lines, as well as septic tanks and individual houses sewage connections being overwhelmed.
Unless all of the bacteria from a flood in a house or business is eradicated, there can be serious problems for years. It is harmful to humans just to be in the presence of a flooded area that has lots of raw sewage because simply to breath the air in the vicinity can be harmful to a person’s health.
It is easy to leave these areas alone and assume that everything is going to be alright because both the mold and bacteria are not noticed at first by our senses. This is why it is vital that a flooded out area be totally cleaned and sterilized to get rid of the mold and bacteria.
Another area that can be seriously compromised by floods are the power systems, not only in individual buildings, but in a general area as well. The electrical components can be totally ruined by a flood, either by being shorted out by being underwater while electrical current is on, or simply being corroded as the water rises.
In a home or business, most of the electrical wiring, connections, junction boxes and outlets will need to be replaced, as will the larger scope of the electrical grid will have to be on a larger scale.
Floods also can cause major damage to the infrastructure of a town, an area or a city, and it can take quite some time to rectify that situation too, which can result in hardship for the occupants of a larger area for a time.