What are the Dangers of Standing Water?

dangers of standing water

By definition, “standing water” is simply a body of water that is not flowing and is not being absorbed by its surrounding environment. This could be a puddle in your yard that pools up every time it rains, slowly causing water intrusion through small cracks in the foundation, unnoticed. It could also be caused by leaking pipes that you weren’t aware of – regardless of the cause, the dangers of standing water pose real risks to not only the structure of your home but your health. 

Is Standing Water Hazardous?


When it comes to floodwater, it is very commonly contaminated with some nasty bacteria, such as E. coli or salmonella. Water may start out clean as well, but as it is stagnant, bacteria can and will begin to grow over time. You should be wary about the water if you find it under your home or in your basement, for example. Consider that bacteria like moist places, so stagnant water is a breeding ground for them. 

Not only can it bring bacterial growth, but also pests. Many types of vermin, such as mosquitos, roaches, or termites, will thrive in standing water and can wreak havoc on your home. These pests can bring along a variety of diseases on top of simply being annoying to deal with. 

Water Leaks

Maybe you overwatered some plants, or the crawl space has a leaking pipe – because it’s not an area you’ll go into frequently, standing water can go unnoticed for months or years. Wooden joists and beams can rot, grow mold, and create poor air quality inside your home. You should always have a professional contractor handle these types of long-term issues. Even after drying out the crawlspace, it’s important to ensure the issue does not reoccur. For example, you might need some work done in your basement or crawlspace if water consistently intrudes after heavy rains. The chances of this being a one-off occurrence are unfortunately pretty low; unless the source is fixed, you’ll end up with deja vu and have to repeat the water mitigation or mold remediation process. 

What Can You Do About Flood or Standing Water?

There are a few things you can do to keep standing water out. First, make sure your lawn properly drains after a rainstorm. If your home is at the bottom of a hill, you may have a higher risk of flooding into the basement due to the slope of the earth. You should check your foundation regularly to ensure no cracks are forming, and also check the perimeter of your home to keep the drain clear. Fix all leaking pipes as soon as you find them (such as in a crawlspace that you probably never go into!), and consider a dehumidifier if your basement/crawlspace is typically a humid/moist environment.

Octagon Cleaning and Restoration specializes in water mitigation and mold removal. We have technicians ready 24/7 for emergency water damage in residential AND commercial spaces and are always happy to provide free mold remediation quotes.