The damage that occurs from water that is a result of floods or leaking pipes can be just as devastating as a fire or a damaging windstorm like a tornado.
Much of the time, excess water in the house may contain unhealthy residues such as bacteria, viruses, mold, raw sewage and other harmful ingredients. If an area that has been flooded with water of unknown origin is not thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, there may be pathogens and mold that linger, and which can cause disease and lingering ailments for years to come to the occupants of the home.
Mold is a very difficult thing to get rid of entirely if it is not thoroughly disposed of in the beginning. So often, it is not entirely killed when a flooded area is cleaned up, and it is then able to regrow and cause problems.
Mold gives off nearly microscopic spores that float through the air, attaching themselves anywhere that the growing conditions are right. All mold needs is a dark place, with some moisture and no moving air to grow, and grow it does. Mold is a very rapid grower under the right conditions, and if it grows inside of a home, all of the residents will eventually have respiratory and sinus diseases.
Sewage backup can be very serious as raw sewage can be very hazardous just to breathe the fumes. If raw sewage backs up in a home, the residents should not attempt to clean it up themselves, but they should call in flood and water damage restoration experts. The experts will be properly dressed and shielded from the hazards, and they have the equipment and knowledge to perform the proper job of cleaning.
Any flooded area in a home or any other building should only be cleaned up by trained personnel simply because of the hazards involved. If you see a room or basement filled with water, it should not be touched. You have no way of knowing whether or not there are any electrical outlets that are underwater and whether or not the electricity in the building is on or off.
If you should touch the water with the electric on you could be electrocuted on the spot. Other hazards are more deferred such as potential disease and hazards to the building itself. In any water damaged area of any size, the homeowner should never attempt to clean it up, and should leave that to the experts.