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Dangers of Standing Water

You often hear that you should be cautious about leaving water standing in or around your home. You may not know all the reasons why. Stagnant water is hazardous to you, your family and your pets. Soon, you’ll have three more reasons to keep your gutters free of debris and draining properly.

I'm sure you don't need another reason to dislike mosquitoes, but did you know they carry heart worm to pets?

I’m sure you don’t need another reason to dislike mosquitoes, but did you know they carry heart worm to pets?

One way that standing water is a threat is because mosquitoes love it.  Dragonflies and other flies also use standing water to grow their eggs. Because human rarely disturb the water, larvae can grow into adults. Believe it or not, standing water is the only place mosquitoes breed. Here in Nashville, we certainly don’t need any more mosquitoes! Mosquitoes carry diseases, including West Nile Virus which was identified in Davidson County just this summer. You may not know that mosquitoes also carry heart worms and tapeworms to dogs. Now you have another reason to hate them.

Compared to standing water from other sources, rain water is fairly clean. However, rain water left still can stimulate the growth of microorganisms and cause problems for some people. Homeowners who fail to keep gutters clean and in working order, may find that the water shows up in a leaky or damp basement or other interior spaces. Even if water is draining properly into the gutters, it must have a way to be channeled away from the home.  Mold is a health hazard; causing respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Mold can start growing within 24-48 hours of water without movement. Mold comes in many different colors and textures and color alone is not a sure indicator of toxicity.

There is one last danger that is invited by leaving water standing in or around your home – E. coli and tetanus also grow there. In the right environment, E. coli can cause urinary tract infections, diarrhea, respiratory illness, pneumonia and numerous other illnesses which can be deadly to the very young and elderly.

Bottom line: make sure that your gutter system is working properly and that no water is left standing in or around your home.