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Floods and leaks are considered to be conditions causing building materials and contents to become damp, wet, or saturated with water. 

Floods allow the home to become susceptible to microbial attack including moulds, bacteria and other organisms that are carried in with the water from outside.  The water may come in from windows, foundation cracks, doors, roofs, floor drains or.  Time is a very important factor when resolving problems in the basement after these conditions have occurred as damp conditions can cause mould growth, and mould may take only 24 - 48 hours to begin to develop.  The air in your home as well as the surfaces could be contaminated as sewage (including fecal matter and vegetation) is carried by floodwater as well.  After a flood, soil based bacteria causing legionnaires disease can be present.
After a flood, any carpet, underpad, bedding, clothing etc. that has been affected by sewage must be disposed of.   Few organic surfaces (drywall, wood, paper, cardboard) can be cleaned enough after becoming wet to not grow mould.  Use of a dehumidifier might be helpful to get the moisture out of the air and not sent it through the rest of the house, but the average household unit is not sufficient in a case like this. Replace all insulation as it traps the surface contamination even if it is not wet and be sure to clean the air ducts after all the clean up has been performed to remove any airbourne contaminants spreading throughout the home.  Having the water tested in your home after a flood is always recommended. 

Leaks can occur due to many problems around the house, but whatever the cause of the leak, the best advice is to pinpoint the specific source and find a quick route to resolving it.  Leaks in the foundation can also result in radon gas entering the home.  Gravity takes effect and water usually ends up in the basement and moisture in the basement can lead to an abundance of problems and can affect the air that is being circulated throughout your house.  If cracks in the foundation exist and are causing water damage, it can lead to compromising the structural integrity of your home if not dealt with in a timely manner.  Problems that could result in leaks are: poor grading of the property, cracks in the walls, roof or eavestrough/down spout defects, blocked drainage at the base of the exterior walls, lack of proper flashing, improperly drained window wells and improper sealing around incoming pipes. 
Floods and leaks should never be taken lightly.  Water is the number one enemy of your home and leaving it for later will only cause more damage, costing more money to fix and compromising the health of your family from microbial growth.  If you experience water damage in your home, the first call to make is to your insurance company and the second to a water/fire/sewage restoration crew.  A licensed, IICRC Certified and insured professional in this industry is always recommended because without high-end drying and extraction equipment, more harm can be done than good if dealing with the wrong people. 
If you have a flood in your home, call Home Heroes today to refer you to a reputable emergency disaster restoration crew in your area.  If you are concerned about mould growth or bacteria contamination due to water damage, us to test the air that your family breathes!
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