Healthy Housing

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While focusing on home loans and mortgage rates is well and good for your finances, shouldn’t purchasing a home be good for your health too? There are a number of ways to ensure that your property is not only protected, but protecting you from illness and poor health.

It seems strange that something as vital as water could cause so many health problems, but anyone who has ever dealt with mold in their home understands the dangers moisture can pose. Moisture can lead to mold, microscopic fungi that grow and spread rapidly. Not only can mold damage household materials, but the chemicals and spores released by mold can cause severe health problems, ranging from allergic reactions to respiratory disease. Mold also weakens the immune system, making it especially dangerous to children, the elderly and pregnant women.

Unless your home’s mold problem is extensive, there’s no need to seek professional help. Small mold outbreaks can be cleaned up and removed easily enough, but the best way to take care of mold is to prevent it from happening altogether. Avoiding mold outbreaks in your home can be as easy as making sure your property stays dry. If you have any water leaks, find and fix them. Clean your home regularly. Reduce clutter that may attract mold, such as clothes or crafts that collect dust in your basement or attic.

Gas can offer comfort and convenience in your home, whether it’s in the kitchen or the fireplace. However, carbon monoxide can also be very dangerous to you and your family. Carbon monoxide builds up quickly in a person’s bloodstream, making it harder for their body to produce oxygen. This gas is also odorless, tasteless and invisible, making it especially dangerous if it remains undetected in a home. 

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to ensure that your home remains carbon monoxide-free. Have your fuel-burning appliances checked regularly by qualified technicians. Keep propane or natural gas-powered devices out of your home and any other enclosed spaces. Never start your car in a closed garage. Finally, it might be wise to invest in a carbon monoxide detector. These devices feature sensors that will alert you if the presence of excess carbon monoxide is detected in your home.

Asbestos is a natural mineral that was often used in building materials in the past. Although asbestos use has decreased dramatically, it can still be found in many homes and poses health risks due to the fibers it releases as it breaks down over time. Asbestos fibers that are inhaled over time can lead to lung impairment, as well as lung cancer.

Have a contractor inspect your home to see if you are exposed to asbestos. Since vermiculite insulation may contain asbestos, make sure to not disturb it or store items near it. If your home is exposed to large amounts of asbestos, contact professionals to have it removed from your property.

Lead is highly toxic, especially to children. In the past, lead was widely used in paints and pipes. Houses that feature paint containing lead or old plumbing fixtures made of lead can pose risks to you and your family, making it important to find out if your home is exposed. Have your home inspected by professionals to see if it features high amounts of lead. If paint in your home contains lead, make sure that any paint chips are cleaned up quickly and kept away from children. If you are worried that your plumbing fixtures contain lead, you can have you water tested to make sure it is safe.

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