A flood is one of the most frightening things a person can experience. If you have never been in the situation, it can be tempting to think ‘it’s only water’ but the damage can often easily run into thousands of pounds. More importantly, a flood has a powerful negative emotional effect on those who suffer from it, as they often lose irreplaceable items and seeing their house gradually fill with stinking, filthy water is an experience that many find difficult to bear.
The dramatic scenes when the flood is in full force would seem to be the pinnacle of the bad experience but the aftermath is just as difficult and potentially dangerous to deal with. Sometimes, the floodwaters will drain away almost as quickly as they came but it is more common for standing water to be left behind, particularly in basements, cellars and crawlspaces.
Though standing water is hardly comparable to the rushing turbulence of the flood it was previously part of, the dangers are just as real though are now much more insipid. After the rain has receded, the matter of most pressing importance is to get rid of any standing water, to avoid such issues as:
Unpleasant Smells. Rainwater in the UK is not particularly renowned for its purity and any that has found its way into your house carries a horde of bacteria, debris and other unmentionables with it. Left to stand, this vile brew quickly stagnates, releasing foul odours.
Mould. This stuff has been on the earth for many millennia and has learned that the best way to beat the competition is to colonise quickly. Stagnant, standing water creates the ideal environment for a mould version of the Olympics and we are pretty sure you don't want to be the host!
Insects. Basically, standing floodwater is a pond. Algae growth will attract tiny insects, which attract bigger insects and so on. Unless you want a giant dragonfly knocking on your cellar door (from the inside!), then that water needs to go.
Structural damage. The longer the floor and walls are submerged, the worse the damage will be. This applies particularly to woodwork though masonry is not going to thank you for an extended bath either.