Skeletons at Your Home: Discovering Hidden Harmful Elements
Many things we have at home carry potential risks. But some of these elements are more harmful than others. This includes molds, radon, and lead paint that can be harmful to a person’s health. This is why regular home inspections are essential; it eliminates the risk of being exposed to these dangerous substances that are usually invisible to the naked eye.
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The New York Times posted an article about the risks of having molds at home. Its health risks range from simple allergic reactions to permanent lung damage. This danger is even magnified because molds are not usually easily detected at home.
The publication mentions that some homes may look neat and clean, but molds may still exist. These molds can be found in the basement, under the furniture, in ceilings and carpets, and on walls and floors. To detect the molds, you might need to do an indoor air quality test.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention shares several facts about molds. It states that molds are expected at home, especially parts of the residence that has excess moisture. Aside from the areas mentioned by The New York Times, CDC adds that molds are present in pipes, roofs, and places that have been flooded.
At the same time, molds can enter through heating and air conditioning systems at home. An individual or a pet can be a carrier of molds, too, when coming from outdoors. Some materials used for home construction may also encourage the growth of molds; this includes wood, paper products, and ceiling tiles.
Even though you cannot easily detect molds through sight, your sense of smell can help you detect mold infestations.
Keeping your home mold-free
To keep your home mold-free, you need to do several measures, including regular inspections for water damage in your home. Because excess moisture provides an excellent environment for mold growth, this is what you should prevent. Check for water leaks in your home. Provide proper ventilation in moisture-prone areas, including the laundry room, the bathroom, and the kitchen.
Additionally, using an air humidifier can help in controlling mold growth. This can control humidity levels within the home, from 30 to 50 percent. Avoiding the use of carpets in moisture-prone areas like the bathroom can help, too. It’s best to dispose of mold-infested items and replace them with new things with better materials.
After flooding, the best way to prevent molds from growing is by making sure that the flooded area is adequately cleaned and dried out. This should be immediately done within the first two days after the flooding. To help with removing the remaining dirt, using a vacuum would be a wise choice. Quickly use a fan or humidifier to assist in drying out the area.
After cigarette consumption, radon comes second in causing lung cancer. A radioactive gas, radion, naturally exists in the air we breathe; it comes inside our homes through cracks and gaps. Because radon naturally exists in the environment, we have no choice but to inhale it; this is dangerous for smokers because it increases their risk of having lung cancer.
The chances of developing lung cancer from radon exposure depend on several factors. Aside from smoking at home, burning wood and coal indoors may also add to the risk of developing cancer. Different parts of the house may also have different radon levels; the only way to know the presence of radon in your home is through home inspections.
To reduce the risk of having lung cancer due to radon level exposure, experts recommend individuals stop smoking, especially at home. Like mold prevention, reducing radon exposure can also be done by increasing the natural ventilation at home. Additionally, since radon travels through cracks on walls, sealing these cracks can help decrease radon at home.
Homes built before 1978 have more chances of having lead paint used during construction. This is because, in 1978, the ban on the use of lead paint was introduced by the federal government.
Lead paint is most hazardous when it starts to chip and crack. When the paint is chipped and cracked, it can be ingested, especially by children, which can be dangerous to their health. When ingested, children may have behavioral and learning problems.
At high levels of exposure to lead, individuals may experience poisoning, anemia, and problems in the nervous system functions.
For lead exposure to be reduced, the best practice is to make sure that all painted surfaces of the home are free from chips, cracks, and damages. If it is an old home with lead-based paint, it is best to do a proper inspection with a certified lead professional. An expert can recommend if the home requires repainting or renovation.
Aside from radon, molds, and lead, there may be more invisible harmful elements present in your home. The best thing to do is stay alert and be informed; keeping yourself updated may save you from having health problems.
Meta title: Searching for Invisible Harmful Elements in Your Home
meta desc: Some harmful elements may exist in a home, and they cannot be detected by the naked eye. Proper inspection and preventative measures are needed to stay safe.