It might be tempting to ignore that leaky pipe or sluggish HVAC system for a while to save a few bucks. But neglecting your home’s maintenance can affect more than just your pocketbook — it can impact your family’s health in ways you might have never imagined. Here are four ways neglected home maintenance can be detrimental to your health, along with tips on how to address them.
Good insulation around your roof, walls, floors, doors, and windows helps prevent heat loss in winter and retain cool indoor air in summer. This isn’t just a matter of staying comfortable year-round; it also helps prevent mold or fungus buildup due to excess moisture. Mold exposure in homes can cause congestion, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, and eye or skin irritation. Fortunately, you can prevent mold growth by controlling humidity levels in your home and making sure roofs, windows, and pipes are insulated properly and not leaking air. Caulking and weather-stripping can help on this front.
Leaky pipes can also cause mold and mildew growth, not to mention inflate your water bill. Keep an eye out for water gathering around or under sinks, toilets, and washing machines. Don’t let a bit of moisture or mold go by the wayside. Have leaks repaired and new drywall installed to restore your indoor air quality and prevent upper respiratory problems from developing?
Poor plumbing can also lead to water contamination due to natural deposits as well as pollutants such as lead. Make sure you maintain your pipes to keep them from leaching into your home and water sources. Little things you can do include removing deposits from faucets and showerheads, cleaning or unclogging stopped-up drains, and monitoring your basement and other potential problem areas for leaks.
You have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home for a reason. Make sure you have a smoke detector installed on every floor and that it has functioning batteries. Check these each month, and change them annually. Also, have a carbon monoxide detector installed if you don’t already. Many household appliances can produce this odorless gas when not working properly. Side effects of poisoning include nausea, dizziness, stomach pain, and even death.
Poor Indoor Air Quality:
If your home’s air is not filtered or circulated properly, it could be contributing to low indoor air quality. Poor air quality can lead to side effects such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness, throat or eye irritation, and more. Make sure your HVAC system is served regularly to keep fresh air circulating throughout your home. Also, remember to change your system’s filters at least once a month to keep harmful particulates flowing out of your home instead of within. And make sure indoor and outdoor vents are free and clear on a regular basis.
Don’t forget about your home and its maintenance needs. Things as seemingly benign as unchanged air filters and leaky windows can lead to harmful health impacts. Follow these tips to avoid home maintenance-related health issues.