Contaminants in Flood Waters
Flooding can be caused by heavy rainfall, ocean surf or river overflow. It can also be the result of plumbing mishaps inside buildings, such as broken pipes or sewer backups. Regardless of the reason, flooding can cause significant water damage to a building and its contents and pose a threat in any location, including Raleigh, NC. Depending on the cause, water from flooding events can be highly polluted and contain a host of disturbing contaminants.
Why Is Flood Water Unsafe?
Water from flooding events is categorized based on the level of pollution. Black water is the most polluted category and is the most serious type to manage. When water rises, it comes into contact with sources of pollution and picks up numerous contaminants:
- Trash and wreckage
How does the water become contaminated? Recall the images you have seen of flooded areas. Have you ever seen a car submerged in water, for example? All of the fluids in the car (e.g., gasoline, coolant) are susceptible to leakage under these conditions. Similarly, flood water can come into contact with underground septic tanks and sewer systems, which allows the contents to leach out into the water. If your building is flooded with contaminated water, the concern is not only water damage but also contamination of the structure itself.
How Can It Be Cleaned Up Safely?
Buildings that have experienced an influx of black water should be cleaned by experienced professionals who have the appropriate equipment to do the job and are trained to work under potentially hazardous conditions. It is often the safest way to manage the situation and may also be the simplest option.
Flood water contamination can be a serious threat, and buildings should be meticulously cleaned when flooding occurs. Water damage should be managed by commercial storm damage restoration personnel, especially if contamination is suspected. Professionals can ensure your building is thoroughly cleaned, and it will be “Like it never even happened.”