If water damage occurs in home or building, its presence can not only ruin and destroy building materials and personal belongings, it could also result in mold contamination and a termite infestation. Some types of termites are attracted to water damaged wood. While some types of water damage, like a natural flood, will leave obvious signs of damage, a small water leak in a wall cavity or crawl space may go unnoticed for months or more. This type of wet environment is ideal for certain types of termites that consume wet wood.
Once a termite colony has been established, the termites can quickly begin to consume parts of the building resulting in structural damage and costly repairs. In fact, the National Pest Management Association reports that termites cause over $5 billion in property damage each year. This type of damage is not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies.
Mold is the other common problem associated with water leaks. Most building materials, furnishing and personal belongings will quickly support the growth of mold if they remain wet or in an environment with elevated humidity levels. The presence of mold can also cause indoor air quality concerns for building occupants. Inhalation exposure to elevated levels of mold can act as a respiratory irritant, allergen and trigger an asthma attack in some people with the condition. Many types of mold also produce mycotoxins and some types of mold associated with water damage can result in fungal infections in people with a weakened or suppressed immune system.
Whether a water leak has caused a termite infestation, mold contamination or both, the source of the water damage needs to be addressed to prevent the condition from simply returning. Qualified pest control professionals can address the termite damage and indoor environmental consultants can test for the presence of mold throughout a property and help to ensure the mold contamination is properly remediated.