Most families consider their homes a safe and secure space. As we’ve learned from spending more time indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the health of our home is just as important. When designing, building, and maintaining a healthy home, the occupant’s health is top priority. A healthy home has clean air and water and is free of toxins (such as asbestos or radon), pests and contaminants.
Health considerations for each home are unique and depend on location, climate and lifestyle. Therefore, some homes may be more prone to mold, mildew and pests than others. The three most common health concerns with housing are ventilation, water quality and toxicity, followed closely by air quality.
Here are four things homeowners can do to help create a healthy home for their families:
1. Prevent Moisture
Excess water and moisture can create mold and mildew, potentially leading to expensive repairs and personal health issues. The three biggest culprits of unwanted moisture are the roof, basement and siding. Regularly inspect these areas for damage and deterioration. Rotting boards, cracks and gaps in your siding can lead to water damage and are signs that your siding needs replacing. Consider replacing your siding with vinyl, which is durable, moisture-resistant and easy to maintain.
2. Improve Airflow
Proper ventilation and good airflow are crucial to a healthy home. Fresh air can help remove contaminants and moisture and prevent overheating rooms. A combination of smartly-placed energy-efficient windows, fans and air conditioning is ideal. Together with air filters, purification systems and air sealants, you can continue to improve the air quality in your home.
3. Clean Regularly
Regularly cleaning your home can prevent a harmful build-up of dust and toxins. Pay special attention to doorknobs, light switches and faucet handles. Try to vacuum and dust rooms weekly. Decluttering your home can also help prevent trip hazards and make it easier to detect mold and vermin quickly.
4. Remove Contaminants
If your home is older, be aware of potentially hazardous chemicals and substances in your paint, insulation, siding and flooring. Specifically, lead paint and asbestos can pose a danger to your health. If identified in your home, have a professional remove these materials as soon as possible. For new homes, invest in non-hazardous, environmentally conscious building materials, such as composite cladding.