Home maintenance isn’t easy. It costs you money and energy, and usually a great deal of both. Luckily, we have three simple steps you can take to maintain your home this summer and keep it a healthy, safe environment for yourself, for family and for guests.
1) Improve air circulation
Mold spores, asbestos fibres, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and various other indoor air pollutants are hazardous to your health and the health of anyone exposed to them on a regular basis.
Improve your home’s ventilation system to control moisture; keep the relative humidity between 30 and 50 per cent; and, subsequently, prevent poor indoor air quality.
You can do this in various ways, including the following:
Open your windows
After being stuck indoors all winter, how about cracking open a window? Not only will the outdoor air coming through be refreshing, but it will prevent indoor air pollutants from building up indoors.
Open windows when you’re running the shower; cooking; washing, drying or ironing clothes. All of these activities increase humidity levels in your home. Therefore, you need sufficient air flow.
Use an air conditioner
If you prefer using an air conditioner over opened windows, this too is a great way to improve the air circulation in your home.
Keep in mind though that mold tends to develop inside air conditioners if the unit isn’t taken care of properly. Be sure to empty the drip pans and clear the drain lines so that moisture doesn’t accumulate.
If you’re renting and you’re confined to only a certain area of a home, consider installing a portable air conditioner or dehumidifier. This is especially beneficial if you’re renting out an attic or basement apartment, as these rooms can become incredibly humid throughout the summer.
2) Clean or remove carpets
During the summer, kids and animals go inside and outside, back and forth, all day. It’s hard to keep the kids clean, let alone the house. However, keeping dry, clean carpets is important for maintaining a healthy home this summer.
Carpets retain moisture. If there’s one spill, wet dog or soaked towel in contact with the carpet, it’s not easy to dry. That is, if you notice the wetness in the first place.
If your carpets are neither clean nor dry, dirt, bacteria, pollen, and other nasty things accumulate inside. Carpets eventually emit unpleasant odours and spores into the air, polluting it.
If you’re not one to regularly clean the carpets, consider removing them. Though carpet removal can be a taxing job, the cost of mold and its remediation is much worse.
3) Make space in your home
Spring cleaning is a fantastic way to keep your home in tip-top shape this summer.
When you dispose of items you no longer use, you find problem areas—ones you would have missed had they remained blocked by mounds of boxes or clothes. This allows you to keep close tabs on any repairs required in your home before there’s extensive or costly damage.
Spring cleaning is beneficial also in that it gives you more space. Make enough room in your home so that you’re not storing any boxes directly against the wall.
If it’s humid (as it often is in the basement or attic, where people typically store their belongings) and moisture becomes trapped, mold can easily develop on either the boxes or the wall.
This goes for furniture as well; don’t keep your furniture, with its porous material already prone to mold, directly against the wall.
Although you probably spend a great deal of your time outdoors in the summer, do not neglect your home. Maintenance is crucial year-round for preventing potentially serious problems, such as poor indoor air quality.
It doesn’t have to be difficult. Improve the air circulation; keep clean, dry carpets if you have them; and make space indoors to catch problem areas and avoid trapping moisture.
If you suspect poor indoor air quality in your home, don’t wait to find out. Check the quality of air you breathe today.