How the Polar Vortex could affect your health for the rest of the year

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Burst pipes cause water damage and mold growth
Several months after this homeowner had a burst pipes, mold started to grow

wood floor water damage
One of our meters that measures the moisture water damage to wood floors from a burst pipe in Philadelphia

molds produce volatile organic chemicals
Respirators can help protect your health from molds emitting volatile organic chemicals

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The polar vortex has returned to our Greater Philadelphia region, bringing with it more freezing temperatures.
The good news is, because the cold is predicted to stay around for the long haul – until the end of February – the deep freeze will keep the ground frozen and finally decrease the burgeoning tick population in our region.
That means fewer people will be infected with Lyme’s disease this summer!
The bad news is, with temperatures staying well below freezing, more homes and businesses will be managing water damage from frozen and burst pipes.
For most people, a flood in their home or workplace is viewed as an inconvenience – a pain maybe, but “no big deal.” And, a lot of people believe that just using a shop vacuum and a few fans will take care of the problem.
For most people, a flood in their home or workplace is viewed as an inconvenience – a pain maybe, but “no big deal.” And, a lot of people believe that just using a shop vacuum and a few fans will take care of the problem.
Unfortunately, unless you call in the professionals to do an assessment with meters to measure the moisture, it’s the water you can’t see that can have damaging effects on your health later on this year.
Because a lot of water – 30 gallons or more – can get soaked into your dry wall and the insulation behind it.
And it won’t dry out by itself.
That makes it a prime suspect for mold growth and termite infestation later this Spring when temperatures return to normal.
The health threat from mold growth after water damage is no joke!
Recent research published last year in November in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the Journal of The American Chemical Society (JACS) by Inamdar, Hossain, Bernstein, Miller, Richardson, and Bennett entitled “Fungal-derived semiochemical 1-octen-3-ol disrupts dopamine packaging and causes neurodegeneration suggests that even more than a simple allergic reaction to the mold spores resulting in symptoms like asthma, toxic mold growth can cause damage to your nervous system.
The damage from mold exposure can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.
This is because when mold grows it emits volatile organic compounds(VOC) into the air. It’s the VOC’s you smell when you identify a “moldy” or “mildewy” odor. When you inhale the VOC’s, they can disrupt the neurotransmitters – the chemical messengers- in your brain and body. And, these researchers demonstrated that the VOC’s from mold don’t just affect humans this way. They affect fruit flies too!
The implications of this research suggest that even before you see visible signs of mold growth, the odor alone associated with mold growth in water damaged buildings can be hazardous to your health!
So, if you live or work in a building that has had water damage from burst pipes or a flood and you experience symptoms like memory problems, brain fog, or muscle weakness and tremors, the research demonstrates it’s not all in your head!
In a previous post, we discussed the 3 important things you can do to prevent frozen and burst pipes. However, not everyone will know what to do, or more importantly will take action.
So what can you do if you do experience water damage from burst pipes during this next round of freezing temperatures from the return of the polar vortex?
1. Don’t ignore it and assume you can handle it on your own. That assumption could put your health at risk later this year!
2. Call in the experts! First, call a plumber to repair and replace the broken pipes.
3. Next, call PuroClean Emergency Recovery Services at 877-750-7876.
We have the technology – the meters to measure the moisture – to track the extent of the water damage from burst pipes.
And, we have the knowledge, experience, tools and manpower to get your home or office clean, dry and sanitized so no mold will grow!

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