When choosing and buying our homes, comfort, security, and serenity are some of the critical features we look for. Most of us are aware that keeping our homes clean will also help to keep it healthy, but do we really pay enough attention to healthiness of our homes?
Recent studies have shown that due to the increased time we spend in our homes, they are now one of the leading causes of common illnesses. You may be left to wonder what exactly would be causing this, especially if your hygiene levels are top-notch. General hygiene may not necessarily be the root cause as most people might assume. The leading cause of poor indoor air Is down to mold and mildew growth. There are well over 100,000 different species of mold alone and they can thrive in environments hidden to the naked eye.
We shall discuss a few factors that may contribute to an unhealthy home that may be draining your pocket in terms of medical bills.
Number of plants in living spaces
You may be surprised that your favorite in-house plants are a leading cause in this category. Despite the fact that they add to the natural appeal and beauty of the house, having too many plants is not advisable as moist conditions and warm environments contribute to perfect habitation for the growth of mold. The soil holding the plants provides this environment for these microorganisms, and with time, they multiply exponentially and have a detrimental effect on our respiratory systems and health in general. Mold spores are frequently whipped into the air, which are then inhaled or absorbed through other orifices like the eyes.
To avoid plant enabled mold growth, you can reduce the number of plants in the home and only place them in well lit and ventilated rooms. This, in turn, reduces the conditions in which mold thrives.
Hidden mold and mildew
If the conditions are right, mold can grow at an alarming rate and doesn't require damp soil from your plants in order to prevail. As long as mold and mildew has enough damp and humidity in the air, it has 99% of what it needs to flourish. Sunlight is the antithesis of this, which is why when we think of mold growth we think of dark and dingy basements where the sun doesn't shine. The usual places to look are in poorly lit and ventilated areas of your home. Mold especially loves to hang out on fabrics and soft furnishings like carpet. However, at times it can be extremely difficult to locate. All too often it can be found hidden behind wall paper, under floor boards or inside dry walls with very few signs you have mold in your house. If this is the case for you, then investing in a mold test kit might help – but in severe cases, you may have to hire a mycologist to come and perform a full home test.
Ignoring your gutters and drainage systems
Gutters and drainage systems are vital features in a house, and we cannot overlook their importance. However, gutters and drainages accumulate debris over time and if you do not clean this up, the buildup creates a favorable environment for mold growth.
Probably one of the easier mold growth issues to deal with, as it's usually very easy to detect and clean. Just make sure you stay on top of them, as Gutters and drains provide high levels of damp that Mold spores will continually come back to. Frequent cleaning both indoors and outdoors is the only answer.
Having too many In-house fabrics and textiles
However beautiful you fabrics and textiles may be, they may be making your home a health hazard. Carpets, rugs, mats and almost any form of upholstery act as perfect hideout places for microorganism and pests that exist in the house. The absorbent properties of fabrics and textiles mean that they can accumulate moisture and if they are not aired or placed in the sun to dry, they will be a haven for microorganisms and pests. Not just Mold this time, dustmites love to make soft furnishings home too. Reduce the number of these items and ensure they are cleaned or vacuumed as well as aired out frequently.
Poor storage techniques
Frequent de-cluttering in the home allows you to create more space in the house and access hidden areas that may be pest hideouts. Get rid of items you do not need in the house. You may also purchase storage cabinets and drawers to enable you to store things you do not frequently use.
Always read storage instructions on items to avoid fires and other hazards in the home.
Ignoring water leakages and damages
Water is a crucial factor in our survival as human beings, but the damage resulting from it could be massive. Poor maintenance of water systems in the home results in moldy areas, damage to walls, floors, and fabrics. Always look out for any signs of leakages in the house, for example dripping, dampness, pools of water, moldy patches, chipped paint and discolored surfaces. In case you notice any of the signs contact your plumber immediately as these may lead to costly repairs and medical bills from the treatment of respiratory problems.
Allowing dust to accumulate
Dust accumulation in the home is one of the leading causes of allergies and asthma. Not only does it increase the occurrence of these illnesses, but it also makes the home very unappealing. To prevent this, simply schedule a day for the general dusting of the surfaces and home in general and if need be, increase the number of times. HVAC filter systems and furnaces should also be changed frequently (at least once every month). The systems accumulate dust and dirt which hinders free air flow into and out of your home. Not only do your energy bills rise, but breathing problems will also be evident.
Many mistakes make homes health hazards. The points discussed above are the basics and most ignored. More often than not, these mistakes in the home are the key causes of illnesses. Ensuring that each aspect of the house is not neglected is one of the significant preventative measures. However small these issues may appear, they are key to ensuring that our homes are safe havens.