Much like ourselves, our homes need a check-up every once in a while. Sure, you don’t like to think that you or your home can become sick, but face it, without a yearly check-up you wouldn’t be as healthy as you are now, right?
If you have become unsure if your home is leading a healthy life, a check-up is well overdue.
Per the agency created for protection of human health and the environment, otherwise known as the Environmental Protection Agency, poor indoor air quality has been listed as one of the top environmental health risks. What’s even scarier than the quality of air in our home is our lack of knowledge of what could be hiding in the air we breathe.
So, what should you do in the short-term?
You may want to re-consider your over use of plastic water bottles, choose a more natural household cleaner that will be safer for you and your children, and avoid canned foods. Fresh is best!
For the more long-term solutions, there are few ways to go about making sure your home has a clean bill of health, check out our five steps:
- Watch out for mold
It’s easy to ignore some of the minor cosmetic updates your home may need such as pruning those pesky bushes or cleaning out the gutters. But, if you happen to spot mold, precautions should be taken immediately. Mold can cause severe health problems down the line and may also prevent you from selling your home when the time comes.
Mold is a critical disease our home can get, but it’s not one to be ignored. The major key to reducing the potential of mold is reducing moisture:
- Your basement, attic, and garage all have something in common: poor ventilation. And with poor ventilation may come a leaky pipe, which results in excess moisture.
- After you come home from a long day of work, nothing sounds better than a steamy hot shower. Be sure before you engage in your favorite wind-down activity that you take advantage of the exhaust feature in your bathroom. This will keep the humidity levels decent and the mold, far, far away.
- If you haven’t even bothered to look at your home warranty all year, now might be a great time to pull out that dusty old thing. You will want to know which of your home appliances are included in the policy. If your HVAC system is, get it serviced. Debris, a source for mold, sits in the vents during the warmer months and can start to build up a perfect environment for mold. Do it now so you will be ready for the upcoming season.
- Reduce the radon
Radon, is a colorless, odorless, dangerous gas. It may be found in parts of your home or even your drinking water. Because this sneaky gas has no taste, color or smell you will have no idea its hanging around and causing harm. Radon is the second leading cause for lung cancer, causing around 21,000 deaths per year. This number is almost 2,000 more than the annual amount for drunk driving deaths.
The soil your home is sitting on at this very moment may be forming radon and seeping into your home.
If your home ever gets this sick, a doctor visit is urgent. Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive. If even the slightest levels are found, the doctor may order a radon reduction system to reduce levels and make what’s sick, healthy again.
- Stop carbon monoxide in its tracks
Having a smoke detector in your home is kind of like having a microwave, it’s a must. But, is your home also geared with a carbon monoxide detector? Maybe not.
All too often, homeowners overlook the need for carbon monoxide detectors because they are not familiar with the risk factors.
Much like radon, carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless poison. This silent killer has the dangerous ability to displace the oxygen in your blood, which deprives your vital organs of the oxygen needed to function. A carbon monoxide exposure quickly takes over the body within minutes, leaving you unconscious and suffocating.
Now that we’ve informed you on the dangers of CO, we trust you to take it from here. If you do have a detector, check the batteries to make sure it’s working, and if you don’t, find your local Walmart and stock up. The money spent towards this small device may save your life.
- Put the cigarettes out
A healthy pair of lungs is essential for any human being, and your home is no different. Think of the air quality in your home as its lungs, if the walls are filled with smoky toxins it can seep into the air making it unbearable to breathe.
Even if you aren’t the smoker in your home, try to encourage those that do to cut back or even crazier, quit!
Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals that can cause health problems in adults, and especially infants and children.
If you are dealing with a closet-smoker that only goes outside, this is something to look out for as well. Smoke has been known to travel back inside of your home and from room to room.
If you aren’t ready to put down your cigarettes just yet, try smoking on your lunch break at work or on your way home. This may protect you and your children from the dangerous toxins being put into the air.
- Clean your home in a healthy state
Built up dirt and grime can be harmful to your home environment, however, the chemicals you are inclined to use to kill to these bacteria can be even more harmful. Lay off the comet cleanser!
For example, certain bleach products can cause irritation in your eyes, mouth and lungs. If you happen to have asthma or any other breathing issues you are more at risk.
The EPA suggest using products that are nonchemical such as the Seventh Generation or Mrs. Meyer’s line. This will get your home as clean as you need, without the health damage.
There’s nothing wrong with giving your home a little TLC, including a home health checkup. Whether it’s annually or every three months, finding out ways to keep your home healthy will allow you many years of happiness to come.