If you have a crawl space in your basement, then you probably enjoy the extra storage space that it provides. Whether the floor of your crawlspace is dirt, stone, or concrete, it is important that it stays dry in order to protect your belongings and to keep you and your family from getting sick from dirty water contamination.
If your crawl space gets seepage or if it floods, you will need to seek out the expertise of a crawl space waterproofing professional to seal up deep cracks, fissures, gaps, and holes in your foundation. Here are four potential health hazards of a perpetually wet crawl space and what you can do about them.
Mold-Related Respiratory Illness
If your crawl space is perpetually wet or damp, mold spores can develop and proliferate throughout your home through the ventilation system. The inhalation of mold particulate is especially troublesome for those with preexisting health conditions such as asthma. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, autoimmune disorders, and pulmonary problems.
A crawl space waterproofing technician can make sure that cracks are sealed and that the surrounding structure is sound enough to keep out rainwater and melted snow and ice from invading your crawl space. In addition, the waterproofing contractor may also be able to recommend a mold remediation company to get rid of the mold and to help ensure that it stays away.
Bacterial And Viral Infections
Dirty water that seeps into your crawl space is often contaminated with bird droppings and animal waste. These substances can carry infection-causing bacteria and viruses, and if exposed, you and your family could become ill. Breathing in germs from animal waste or bird droppings can lead to severe respiratory infections, and touching the contaminated water can lead to skin sores and rashes.
If you get sick as a result of exposure to contaminated water from your crawlspace, make an appointment with your doctor right away. If your illness is caused by bacterial microorganisms, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics, however, if the source is viral in nature, antibiotics will do little to clear the infection.
Another potential health hazard that may be related to a wet crawl space is gastrointestinal illness. If you accidentally get dirty water splashed in your face or mouth, you may develop abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Bacterial or viral gastroenteritis related to contaminated water can also cause fever, chills, body aches, malaise, and fatigues.
If you develop a gastrointestinal illness that you believe is related to your flooded crawl space, see your doctor. In the meantime, drink plenty of clear liquids to avoid dehydration. Also, if you can tolerate it, try eating dry toast, crackers, chicken broth, or clear gelatin. If your crawl space floods, keep your children and pets away from the water and call a professional cleaning service to mitigate the water damage.
Exposure to dirty floodwater can trigger a systemic inflammatory response as a result of potent allergens. If this happens, you may be at a heightened risk for immune suppression. While a suppressed immune system is more likely to affect the very young, elderly individuals, people with immune problems, and those who have certain pre-existing medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders and diabetes, it can occur in anyone.
To help boost immune function, eat foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables. If you are unable to tolerate these types of foods, talk to your doctor about taking supplemental vitamin C tablets. In addition to increasing your vitamin C intake, make sure to get plenty of rest, exercise every day as tolerated, try to manage your stress levels, and stay well-hydrated.
If your crawl space floods after a heavy rain or if water seeps in periodically, call a crawl space waterproofing company. Doing so will help reduce the risk of illness and will prevent your belongings from getting warped, mold infested, or waterlogged.