Have you ever heard of the term “sick building syndrome”? It’s when inhabitants of a certain house or building experience a range of symptoms that typically get better after stepping out of that place.
These symptoms include rashes, a sore throat, irritated eyes, a runny nose, headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating on tasks, and coughing. So if you don’t go through any of these when you’re elsewhere, chances are it’s your home or workplace that’s causing them.
Most homeowners or business owners address the symptoms by adjusting indoor temperatures, installing fans to improve ventilation, opening windows, or revamping the layout of some rooms for better air circulation.
And if things are so bad that several people get sick all at once, the house or building might be abandoned altogether.
But it doesn’t have to be that drastic. If you’re a homeowner, you can actually do small changes to make your home healthier for longer.
Small Changes for a Healthier Home
These days, having a healthier home trumps having an ostentatious, palatial abode. To achieve the former, you’ll need to look at the potential hazards that are preventing you from having a healthy living situation.
Identifying the problems is an important first step to solving them. After pinpointing the dangers causing health and safety issues, you can then have a solid plan to address them with practical but significant changes.
It’s also a good idea to have reliable professional resources for solving health hazards when they arise.
We’ll be discussing both short-term and long-term solutions at length in the following sections.
1. Identifying Invisible Home Health Hazards
Mould, asbestos, toxic cleaning supplies, pests, and deadly emissions are just some of the hidden dangers in your own home that can cause serious damage to your health. The problem is they aren’t readily obvious and might take some time to identify.
Start taking note of whenever you cough, sneeze, or get allergic reactions — is it when you switch on your air conditioning or furnace? If this is the case, the air duct cleaning services can assess potential problems with all your vents, pipes, and coils and propose the right solutions for them.
Forewarned is also forearmed. A lot of unhealthy homes get to be in that state because of insufficient (or the total absence of) professional home inspection prior to moving in.
These companies can detect and report the presence of asbestos, high radon levels, lead-based paint, mould, structural problems, and other health and safety hazards. So if you’re in the market for a new house, home inspection companies can assure you that you’ll be living an asbestos-free, fire-proof domestic life even before you move in.
In the same vein, structural engineer firms can inspect and report if all the materials used to build your home are up to code and construction standards.
But if the problems crop up when you’re already settled at home, there are still ways to address them on a practical level.
2. Small (But Significant) Maintenance Is Key
Because they’re invisible, it often takes a long time before home health hazards are identified. Unfortunately, some of the most common identifying factors are full-blown symptoms of sickness from second-hand smoke or toxic fume inhalation, or severe allergic reactions to bug bites, asbestos, or mould.
Before it gets to this point, it’s important to pinpoint where the health hazards are to know how to solve them. General maintenance and decluttering can keep pests, nasty smells, and toxic build-up at bay.
That’s why it’s already a huge help to do regular clean-ups like sweeping, dusting, doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, cleaning up after kids and pets, and similar tasks for just ten to 15 minutes a day.
But if your home or workplace has gotten severely cluttered, perhaps it’s time to consult the best cleaning services in Ottawa to get the junk out of the way. These companies and their trained cleaners know the proper tools, techniques, and methods to ensure a deep clean that results in a truly sanitized living space.
And if you’re conscious about environmentally friendly ways to remove clutter, there are junk removal services in Ottawa that are dedicated to keeping as much junk off landfills and incinerators as they could.
After all, it only makes sense to get professional services that will help clean your home and not clutter up the environment in the process.
3. Professionally Addressing Your Home Hazards
It’s been established that maintenance is key to addressing most of these home health hazards. But unless you have an extensive technical background, some home or building maintenance services require the help of professionals.
For instance, your mould problems won’t go away on their own. They can’t be handled through DIY means either (please never attempt to remove mould by yourself because it’s a serious safety risk!).
So if a professional home inspection yields the presence of toxic mould, the best recourse would be to get the services of a mould removal company. Doing this can assure you of thorough and complete mould remediation and even emergency services if you need them.
And if you’re living in an older home that was built somewhere between the 1940s and the 1970s, some of the construction materials used for it could pose health and safety risks. Lead-based paint and asbestos are primary concerns that need to be remedied ASAP.
Please note that asbestos in particular is a highly toxic substance that can do long-term damage to your lungs. It’s a service that’s better handled by asbestos removal professionals who knows the best asbestos removal techniques in Ottawa.
4. Seasonal Upkeep To Keep Your Home Safe Inside and Out
So far we’ve proposed both short-term and longer-term solutions for a healthier home. Seasonal upkeep and maintenance is something of an in-between solution.
Sometimes, extreme weather conditions can contribute to your home’s health, as well. This is true for both your house’s interior and exterior parts.
For instance, your eavestrough needs to be free of dirt, debris, and other things that can clog and damage it. Strong winds can pile up leaves in your gutters while snow makes DIY roof cleaning difficult (and dangerous) to accomplish.
Luckily, there are professional gutter cleaning services in Ottawa that can handle eavestrough and soffit repair, maintenance, and declogging for your home. They are properly equipped and have the know-how to clear up your gutters no matter the season.
If you live in a tall house with high windows, you won’t be able to handle all the cleaning and wiping to ensure that you get the maximum amount of natural light your home needs. Plus, attempting to make those panes sparkle on a three-storey home is simply too dangerous.
A more practical solution would be to get professional window washing services, instead. These companies typically employ expert window washers who are fully bonded and insured (accidents on the job do happen!) so you can rest assured your windows will be sparkling clean come rain or shine.
Indoors, you can have some of the top handyman services in Ottawa on speed dial should you suddenly have plumbing or electricity problems. The great news is that most of them offer emergency services at all hours to address any home-related issues that come up.
They can also be counted on to do small renovations in your home like retiling, installing sinks, drywall, or repainting a portion of your home. So keep a seasonal handyman service listed because you’ll never know when you might need one.
5. Permanent Solutions for Pests
Then there’s the perennial problem of pests which could plague even the most meticulous of homeowners.
Termites, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, and even rats and bigger wildlife could do serious damage to your home if you aren’t immediately aware of their presence. And in the case of mouse droppings, some bug bites, and other infestations, they can wreak havoc on both your physical and mental health!
It’s tempting to set out traps and sprays to deter pests, but they are only band-aid solutions to a problem that could get quickly out of control. Plus, there’s no guarantee that they will actually work.
So if you want a permanent solution for this particular scenario, some exterminator companies in Ottawa can offer free inspections and evaluations on what needs to be done. Some of them can even offer round-the-clock pest control which is always convenient for emergency situations.
If it’s your couch cushions or mattresses that are infested, don’t waste any time and get in touch with the pros ASAP. There are top bed bug exterminators that can help you get those bite-free and itch-free nights back once more.
And if it’s a wildlife control situation that needs professional and expert handling, fret not. The best pest control services in Ottawa have teams who are sufficiently trained at catching, handling, and relocating all forms of wildlife in a humane way.