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Critical Rx For a Healthy Home

Critical Rx For a Healthy Home
July 23, 2016 SNH Editorial Team
Healthy Home

Not feeling well, but can’t figure out what is wrong? Some people have health issues and may not realize their personal wellness and the health of their home are interconnected.

By giving your home a health check-up, you may be preventing diseases and other hazards from hurting you and your family. Poor indoor air quality, mold, radon, carbon monoxide, and lead paint are just a few of the home health issues that could potentially trigger asthma, possibly cause lung cancer or lead poisoning.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designated June as Healthy Home Month and encouraged everyone to do a home review. You may already use smoke detectors as one safety measure, but there are other ways to improve the wellbeing of your living space without breaking the bank.

Keep it Dry: Prevent water from entering your home through leaks in roofing systems, rainwater from entering the home due to poor drainage, and check your interior plumbing for any leaking.

Keep it Clean: Control the source of dust and contaminants, creating smooth and cleanable surfaces, reducing clutter, and using effective wet-cleaning methods.

Keep it Safe: Store poisons out of the reach of children and properly label. Secure loose rugs and keep children’s play areas free from hard or sharp surfaces. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep fire extinguishers on hand.

Keep it Well-Ventilated: Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens and use whole house ventilation for supplying fresh air to reduce the concentration of contaminants in the home.

Keep it Pest-free: All pests look for food, water and shelter. Seal cracks and openings throughout the home; store food in pest-resistant containers. If needed, use sticky-traps and baits in closed containers, along with least toxic pesticides such as boric acid powder .

Keep it Contaminant-free: Reduce lead-related hazards in pre-1978 homes by fixing deteriorated paint, and keeping floors and window areas clean using a wet-cleaning approach. Test your home for radon, a naturally occurring dangerous gas that enters homes through soil, crawlspaces, and foundation cracks. Install a radon removal system if levels above the EPA action-level are detected.

Keep it Well-Maintained: Inspect, clean and repair your home routinely. Take care of minor repairs and problems before they become large repairs and problems.

Here are some other “prescriptions” to fix your home’s health:

  • Ordering a radon test kit to see if you need to install a radon mitigation system
  • Using a carbon monoxide device to detect CO gas
  • Checking to make sure air vents go outside and are not clogged
  • Sealing cracks to prevent bugs and animals from entering

Personal health and home health go hand in hand. By identifying the weaknesses in your home’s health you can address the problems to make it safe and healthy for you and your family.