Allergies run rampant in spring and early summer. But what if your allergies aren’t a direct result of the pollen you face outside? Your home’s indoor air quality could be the source of your allergy woes. And while concerns like carbon monoxide exposure are easy to test simply by adding a detector to your home, other pollutants are more difficult to find and originate in places that you might not think to check.
Carpet attracts everything from dirt to pet dander. Carpeting your home allows for collection and storage of pollution if not cleaned regularly and properly. Toxins from outside can get into your home from your shoes. And even if you don’t have a pet, your pet owner friends can track in their pet’s shedding when they come over. The best way to stop these pollutants from seeping into your home’s air is to remove your carpet. If that isn’t plausible, vacuuming regularly and getting your carpet deep cleaned several times a year can help cut back on allergens. Taking your shoes off at the door of your carpeted home can also cut down on pollutants tracked in from the outside.
Air should flow freely throughout your home. Stagnant air can result in toxins building up and tainting home’s air quality. Opening windows when you’re home will let fresh air inside and help to get the air in your home flowing. If your home’s exchange rate, the rate at which outdoor air replaces indoor air, is too low then you can expect pollutants to accumulate inside your home.
Water and Humidity Build Up
If your home has any hidden leaks, it can be susceptible to mold and mildew without your knowledge of its growth. Whether in your foundation or in pipes, water in dank places leads to this growth. Getting your home checked for leaks once a year can help you in the long run by lessening the costs of getting mold and mildew removed. Similarly, neglecting to use your bathroom’s fan when showering leads to moisture buildup which causes growth of mold and mildew. Using your bathroom’s fan cuts down on the humidity in your home and gives mold and mildew less growing room. If you don’t have a fan, an open window can also help.
Paint and Home Renovations
If your home was build before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned lead paint in 1978, there’s a chance your wall’s paint still contains those toxins. Lead paint produces the most problems when it starts to chip, which is especially dangerous for children. So, if the paint in your older home is in good shape, encapsulating it, creating a seal on the paint, can do the trick. Since chipping away the paint creates lead-induced dust, the safer way to remove any lead paint is to have it done by a professional.
If you’re renovating there will be dust and grime if you’re in an attic or crawl space. If you’re doing it yourself, be sure to wear a mask to protect yourself while working. Showering after doing a job can rid your body of any pollutants that could be transferred to other parts of the home from you. Similarly, closing off the room that’s being renovated can help to keep any pollutants from contaminating the rest of your home. Beware of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your any products you use when remodeling. These include any paint, thinners or strippers, carpet, and any adhesives. Store these products outside until they need to be used.
If you have any concerns about your indoor air quality, don’t hesitate to contact us for an inspection.