Is your house making you sick?
Do you feel ill whenever you are in your house, but feel fine when you stay in a hotel or at a friend’s house? There could be something in your house that your body is reacting to. Mold is often the named culprit; however, it isn’t always mold. To determine what is causing your health concerns you need to investigate. It could be a number of things, including personal care products, household cleaners, work environment, medications, or something else! Finding the cause is similar to looking for a needle in a haystack. A good way to start is by asking yourself a series of questions so you can narrow down the problem area.
- Does anyone smoke indoors?
- Have you done any remodeling, added insulation, installed new flooring, purchased new furniture, curtains, or shelves?
New upholstered furniture
- Does your home have a musty or mildew smell?
- Is your dryer vented to the outside of your house?
- Does everyone in your home turn the bathroom fan on when showering?
- Does the bathroom fan work? If you are unsure, do the “Toliet Paper Test.”
- Where does the bathroom fan vent? It should vent outside your home.
- Do you see water in the crawl space or around the foundation of your house?
- Do you have water leaks around your plumbing fixtures?
- Are your gutters clean and attached to downspouts that direct water away from your home’s foundation?
Check for mold behind vinyl wallpaper.
Keep water away from the foundation.
Downspout directing water away from house
Gutter in need of cleaning
- When was the last time you changed the air filter for the heating and cooling system?
- Do you vacuum carpets and damp mop hard surface floors at least once a week?
- Do you have cockroaches and pests in your home?
- There are easy things you can do to prevent pests in your home. Always store food in sealed containers; seal cracks and holes around plumbing fixtures; take away their hiding places by removing at least one-third of your clutter; and keep your home clean. Click here for more tips of managing pests.
Sometimes we blame our home, when it could be our behaviors that are causing health problems in the home. Start with this list and always check with a medical professional. For more information visit the links below.
University of Georgia Extension Healthy Homes
EPA – Protecting Children’s Environmental Health
Asthma Home Environment Checklist