Could Your Home Be Killing You?

Sick house syndrome has had a lot of press recently and it’s not surprising given that the one place in which you want to feel relaxed, nurtured and comfortable could actually be making you sick.

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If your health is keeping you up at night it could be the sign of an unhealthy home. Here are 10 ways your home could be affecting yours and your family’s health.

  1. Damp air – damp air is the biggest cause of moldy homes.  Mold spores aren’t just unsightly and can cause damage to paintwork, walls and even furniture, they are actually really bad for our respiration and can aggravate conditions such as eczema and asthma. Whilst you may never be able to completely protect your home from mold attacks you can limit the spread by reducing the amount of moisture in the air thus removing the conditions in which mold thrives.
  2. Dirty vents – if you use an air conditioning unit and haven’t been on top of its regular maintenance and cleaning then you could be circulating dust, bacteria and germs every time you turn it on.  This is because airborne nasties like to collect in the vents of air conditioning units and if they aren’t dealt with they can then find their way through the system and back out into the room just ready for your family to breathe them in. Check your vents and limit the circulation of bad air.
  3. An old bathroom – if your bathroom has seen better days the fixtures and fittings are more likely to come lose and loose their waterproof seals. When water is allowed to get into cracks it becomes stagnant causing all sorts of nasties to breed and not just mold.  If you’re showerhead is looking a bit rusty and tired for example it could actually be filling the air with small particles of lead and other metals that can affect your liver and pulmonary system. An aging bathroom could be a serious hazard to your health.
  4. Poor ventilation – a poorly ventilated room, particularly the bathroom, creates the perfect condition for mold and bacteria to take hold. It doesn’t allow for the good circulation of fresh air and this can actually make you feel lethargic, confused and generally unwell as your body has to work harder to take in oxygen.  Even if you work hard to eradicate the mold these conditions will just keep reappearing if poor ventilation is a problem in your home.
  5. Dust – if you are an allergy sufferer you will know how dangerous dust can be.  Certain kinds of dust can trigger reactions ranging from a mild cough and sneeze to a full blown, life threatening asthma attack.  It can also cause itchy eyes, now and throat and can be very uncomfortable in little ones. It can also contain bacteria that affects the gut over a sustained period of time.
  6. Musty bedroom – your mattress could be literally teeming with life if you don’t regularly vacuum it and let it air.  This is because it gathers over half your bodyweight in dead skin every year and this is the delicacy of choice for bed bugs.  Bed bugs sound harmless but they bite and you will soon notice little lumps and bumps that keep you itching long after daybreak.  
  7. Chimneys and flues – if you have an open fire in your home and your chimney or flue isn’t working properly you are allowing smoke, ash and dirt to circulate through your home.  Just as you would avoid smoke inhalation during a fire as this can be fatal, likewise you need to avoid it on the smaller scale by having properly operating and certified ventilation systems.   
  8. Asbestos – it is impossible to know whether you have asbestos or not, particularly if you live in an older building.  This is one nasty you really don’t want to be tackling on your own so you should always call out an expert to check that asbestos isn’t lurking in the fabric of your home, particularly if you are planning on undertaking any modifications or repairs. Not all asbestos is harmful but if it is it is toxic, which is why you should never remove it without the guidance and help of an expert.
  9. Radon – another common life threatening substance that could be present in your home is radon.  Radon is a gas that is difficult to detect as it is both colorless and odourless but it causes thousands of cases of lung cancer in the USA every year.  Again you should consult an expert to test for radon, particularly if you are in a radon hotspot.  For more information check out the EPA website.
  10. Household chemicals – household cleaners and chemicals such as bleach can be harmful if in the reach of little fingers so always store any poisonous items in a sturdy, raised or lockable cupboard. However these chemicals can also harm you during day to day used in two ways.  Firstly the overuse of chemicals in the home can lead to skin complaints and allergies particularly in the eyes, nose and throat. They can also prevent good bacteria from cultivating which can lead to a compromised immune system and more chance of picking up common colds and bugs.  Try and use more natural, plant-based cleaners for a healthier approach to home maintenance.

If you are worried about any of these common household problems there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy home including:

  1. Regular maintenance – keeping your house well maintained means you are more likely to spot when mold or other bacteria is beginning to take hold
  2. Good cleaning regime – housework isn’t the most exciting pastime but it will keep dust and germs at bay as well as make your home more comfortable
  3. Open windows – help to ventilate that air and you can breathe deeply again
  4. Be vigilant – keep an eye out for problems and act fast before they take hold
  5. Call in the experts – if in doubt call in the experts, particularly if you don’t know what substance you might be dealing with. Your family’s health may depend on it

 

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What Should I Look For In A Disaster Restoration Company?

If you want to keep your home in excellent condition, it’s important to ensure that you’ll know who to call if a disaster strikes on your residential property. Finding the ideal disaster restoration company is important because it ensures that your property and possessions can be recovered with skill and speed. To ensure that you can find the ideal company, look for the following attributes in the firm:

1. A Great Reputation.

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re working with the right disaster restoration company is by determining whether they have a great reputation. Luckily, the internet makes it easy to do the research necessary to determine whether you’re working with an ethical group of people who are known for getting the job done quickly and correctly. For example, you can type in a key phrase like “Fire Restoration Contractors Online Reviews” to see what former clients are saying about the professionals in question. You can also do research on the restoration company’s website to learn more about things like how long they’ve been operating and whether they’ve won any significant awards.

House Fire, Home, Fire, Danger, Fireman, Smoke

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2. Comprehensive Services.

In addition to seeking out a restoration company that has a great reputation, make sure that you look for a team of professionals who will be able to offer comprehensive services. These services empower you to ensure that all of your restoration needs can be taken care of from one company, thereby saving you the time and energy it would take to coordinate services from multiple firms. Companies like DKI are pleased to offer a wide range of services, some of which include:

  • Water Damage
  • Fire Damage
  • Storm Damage
  • Mold Remediation
  • Infectious Disease Control
  • Catastrophe Response
  • Personal Property Restoration
  • Building Restoration
  • Tree Removal

Bulldozer, Demolition, The Destruction Of, Construction

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3. Fair Prices.

One final attribute you should look for in a disaster restoration company is fair prices. This trait is important because it ensures that you won’t have to pay unreasonable, astronomical prices for the restoration services you want. You can do internet research to see what the average asking rates are in your area before deciding which company to go with.

Don’t Delay: Find The Right Disaster Restoration Company Today!

If you want to keep your home in excellent condition, knowing who to call in case of a disaster is immensely important. To ensure that you can attain the high quality disaster restoration services you need and deserve, use the search techniques outlined in this quick reference guide!

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Living with Lifespans – What Needs Replacing?

Here’s a bit of a shocking fact for you – over a period of 30 years, a house and its contents could need as much as 50% of it repairing or replacing from the position it was in at the beginning of this period of time. Let’s face it, you have to be one of the unlucky ones if you are going anywhere near 50% and over if it’s not a house that you have bought as a do-up project, but the figures mainly come from what resides inside the house itself rather than the upkeep of the building.

So, what are the things that fall under the replacement category and what is the recommended lifespan of each thing – are you being shortchanged or are you long overdue a replacement?

Child Playing Front Loader Toy

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Flooring

Good, solid wooden flooring can last centuries. Tiled flooring can, too – you can see it houses and churches in the United Kingdom that have lasted through several Kings and Queens and could probably tell a lot of stories … if they could talk. Planned care and restoration of both wooden and tiled floors can help extend the lifespans for future generations to appreciate. Laminate, lino and carpets are another matter entirely – if you are over the 10 year recommended threshold for the longevity of these products, then you should probably start looking at Online Carpet Sale and other such sites to keep your flooring in tip-top condition.

comfort, control, cooking

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Household appliances

All appliances have different recommendations as to how long they will last. A vacuum will last you up to 25 years if serviced and cared for, yet you may think of replacing it a lot sooner to keep up with the increasing demands of both efficiency and productivity.  Everything else pretty much has an average of 10-15 years – so your washers, dryers, dishwashers, microwaves etc should keep going for a fair while, but you may find that they will either go on a lot longer or cut short a lot sooner than expected; it’s always one or the other!

 Brush painting the white wall

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Fixtures, fittings and furnishings

Paint will naturally start to lose colour/chip or peel away/look grubby over the years. Sometimes it can last for a good while,but it’s always worth acknowledging that a touch-up every couple of years will help it to stay in a great condition and look fresh. Hands on walls, especially where people are holding on for stability or pushing against things such as light switches, will always leave a mark; you can’t ever guarantee how clean a person’s hands are. The recommended lifespan of paint is just 7 years – yet you’d be hard pressed finding someone who actually makes the effort to redecorate their whole house that often. There are new trends in paint on the market, with wipe-clean options available for those marks that start appearing. Keep it in a good condition and you can probably exceed the lifespan and laugh in the face of the grim reaper when he comes round and starts picking away at your walls!

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