Five Health Home Health Hazards to Repair Today to Up Your Resale Value
Whether you intend to stay in your current home forever or think that you may one day sell, it’s important to ensure that your house is structurally sound and free of health hazards. Doing so not only keeps your loved one safe but it also helps to make sure the property can sustain and support your family for as long as possible. While there are some issues that are immediately noticeable, such as black mold growing along the basement walls, some are indiscernible and as such, require professional attention to catch and remediate.
To that end, today we are discussing five commonly-found health hazards that could be lurking in your home. Taking the time to repair these issues today can help improve the overall value of your home and improve its resale value and potential.
1. Poor Indoor Air Quality.
This is one of those home hazards that can be difficult to pinpoint and often presents itself in a slew of only semi-related symptoms. If you suspect that the air quality in your home needs attention, consider first the health of your family members. Are they exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms that they just can’t seem to shake? While it may be seasonal allergies or an illness, chances are high that something in your home is exacerbating their condition. Or, you may notice that your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector goes off frequently, even though you’ve checked for the presence of both gases and have also eliminated the possibility of radon.
There are myriad reasons why the air quality in your home may be poor, ranging from dust mites to gases released by your appliances. To remediate this issue, you can take a few proactive steps.
First, increase your home’s ventilation to allow clean, outside air to flow among your rooms. Then, invest in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filter to keep particulates out. If you believe your air quality is low because of a damaged air duct, you can hire an attic cleaning service to investigate and repair the issue for you. Click for more information on the other benefits of setting an attic cleaning appointment. You can also begin cleaning with products that feature low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
2. The Presence of Asbestos
Asbestos is a strong, heat-resistant fiber that, in years past, was commonly used in insulation, vinyl flooring, roof shingles and more for its durability. Yet, we now know that it is also a carcinogen and that inhaling its fibers can lead to respiratory problems and an increased risk of developing lung diseases, including lung cancer. If you believe there is asbestos in your home, you may be tempted to go in and tear it all out immediately. Yet, it is critical that you work with a professional abatement team on this endeavor, as in many cases, it is best to leave the asbestos undisturbed.
For instance, if you have asbestos materials that are undamaged, many will recommend that you leave them alone and take precaution to ensure the fibers are not disturbed. In the event that the material is exposed and disturbed, hire an expert to complete the removal and repair process to minimize your exposure. It will be important to practice precaution around these areas, especially while they are being worked on, as even vacuuming up debris could cause the fibers to travel through the air.
3. Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that, if inhaled, can cause the sudden illness or death of those exposed. In homes, it can be found in combustion fumes. These are released in your garage by cars or trucks and can also be found inside your home via your stove, lanterns, gas ranges and more.
The most important thing you can do to monitor your home is to install a simple carbon monoxide detector outside of every sleeping area and ensure it always has fresh batteries. Poisoning occurs when there is not proper ventilation for fuel-burning appliances or items. From wood stoves to dryers and generators, it’s essential to ensure plenty of ventilation room for these gases to escape and make sure they are all vented to the outside. Make it a practice to have all of your fuel-burning appliances inspected once a year by a professional to make sure this is achieved.
4. Mold and Moisture
You may have noticed a little bit of dark mildew or mold gathering around the base of your shower or around the rim of your bathtub. While unsightly, this type of water damage is often reversible by using bleach-based cleaning products. On the other hand, mold found around your baseboards or walls is another story. Mold is attracted to paper-based products, meaning that your wooden beams, ceiling tiles and drywall are especially susceptible.
Over time, mold exposure can exacerbate asthma symptoms and also lead to skin irritation, respiratory issues and even chronic lung illnesses. As such, it’s important to catch this issue early and totally eradicate it. You can start by applying commercial mold treatment products to the affected areas, or by creating a solution of one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, taking care not to mix the bleach with ammonia or other household cleaning products. Doing so could create toxic fumes.
From there, be sure to properly ventilate your home to prevent moisture from building up, which creates a breeding ground for mold. Also take the time to fix any leaks in your home and reduce your home’s humidity levels, which can often be achieved by using a dehumidifier in moisture-prone areas such as your basement.
5. Pests and Rodents
From fruit flies and bed bugs to termites and rats, there is a wide range of pests that could infiltrate your home, bringing damage and destruction along with them. This is where it’s important to work with a professional pest control expert. While DIY methods can help mitigate the problem for the short-term, chances are there is an exposed area in your home’s foundation that is allowing many of these critters to enter. Or, as in the case of bed bugs, you may need to get rid of your bedding or other furniture that has been affected.
One measure to take in the interim is to eliminate any exposed food in your kitchen or in other rooms. Don’t leave opened boxes sitting in your pantry and be sure to tightly seal and remove your garbage bag when it gets full. When you have a spill, clean it up immediately and put up your pet food once your furry friends are done eating.
If you’re dealing with roaches, be cognizant to remove any sources of standing water in your home. This means draining your sink water, immediately wiping up all spills, fixing any leaky faucets and removing any water remaining in the base of a planter after you’ve watered your houseplants.
Ensuring a Hazard-Free Home for the Future
Maintaining a home that is as clean as possible is one of the tenants of being a responsible property owner. Whether you manage a rental or just built your forever home, staying up-to-date on its condition and structural soundness is critical to making sure its value is maintained or improved over time. This is true for both content homeowners and those looking to sell soon. In the event that you suspect an issue, it’s worth the time and money to contact a professional as soon as possible. Doing so can save you time, money and a major headache down the road.