Is your building making you sick? We’d all like to think that our homes and offices are clean, but it turns out that they’re not. In fact, research proves that the air outdoors is cleaner than the indoor air quality of homes. That’s mind-boggling information and a tough pill for many of us to swallow!
Indoor air quality is defined by Wikipedia as “the quality of the air in and around buildings.” While that definition sounds simple, it’s not such an easy thing to manage. There are a number of things that contribute to making our spaces dirty, dusty, and/or mouldy.
Here are a few of those factors that contribute to a decrease in your air quality:
· Cigarette smoke
· Woodburning or gas fireplace emissions
· Insufficient ventilation
· Moisture in the basement
· Growth of moulds or mildews in the attic or basement
· Pet dander and dust mites
· Gaps in your ductwork that allow bugs, rodents, or dirt inside
Signs of Poor Air Quality
You might now be wondering if you have poor air quality. The fact of the matter is that many homes and office buildings do experience a drop in air quality, but they don’t realize it until they learn these signs.
· You see dust build-up more quickly after cleaning. Plus, you have a larger volume of dust!
· Mould or mildew appears to be forming, usually in damp or dark areas. Check your bathroom, basement, and the eaves of your attic space for spreading dark spots of mould (but don’t touch it!).
· Yellow marks around the ceiling. These stains are caused by cigarette smoke, and insufficiently vented fireplace, or dangerous gasses in the home.
· There might be the presence of an unidentified, persistent sour smell. This can be caused by mould, a dead rodent in a trap in the basement, or even an infestation of termites. Each of these has a negative impact on the air quality. Bad odours are a sign that something is amiss.
· You feel ill when you’re in the building. In fact, the most common symptom is an allergy-like cough. Other people may feel nausea or lightheadedness. However, the symptoms subside when you’re not in that building.
So, now you think you’ve seen some of these signs. What can you do to solve the problem and restore your air quality?
How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
There are several measures that need to be taken, and each treatment will vary depending on the source of your problems. Poor air quality poses a serious health risk. If you have physical symptoms of can visually see the signs of poor air quality, you must leave the restoration of air quality in the hands of qualified professionals. Mould remediation, attic ventilation, and asthma-triggering volumes of dust are not a joking matter.
Here are some actions that you should take.
Call for Mould Removal: If the source of your issue is mould or mildew, don’t attempt to clean it up alone. You could be removing the stain but releasing dangerous mould spores into the air. Ultimately, this will make your problem much worse. Moreover, you could be breathing in this dangerous fungus. A mould abatement specialist will have the tools and equipment to treat the problem properly and prevent it from re-occurring.
Have Your Roof Inspected: If you see signs of moisture in the attic, call for a roof inspection. A roofing professional will be able to point out areas that are vulnerable to allowing in rain, mice, or insects that can be making way into your home and degrading the air you breathe. They can also check your eaves to ensure proper ventilation in the attic.
Check With the Plumber: Ask your plumber to come inspect all the pipes coming in or out of your home for gaps. These are points that allow germs, bacteria, and possible infestations of rodents or bugs that can cause your air quality to plummet.
Have the Chimney Swept: If you burn firewood and see yellow stains around your ceilings, your fireplace probably has a buildup of dangerous creosote. Not only will this pollute your air, but it will also cause a house fire. Attend to this right away.
Deep Cleaning After Eliminating the Cause of Your Poor Air Quality
Infographic courtesy of ChemDry of Palm Beach County
After you’ve eliminated the root cause of your poor air quality, there’s one thing left to do. Clean up the visible signs that have manifested themselves in your home. Like mould removal, this is a deep cleaning that should be left to a professional.
Disturbing the dust that’s accumulated can cause you to inhale dirt that can trigger an allergic reaction or even asthma. The best cleaning services will have the knowledge to remove the dust, those unsightly yellow stains, and lingering bad odours from your home.
Let the cleaning service know why you require their assistance. They are likely to recommend the following treatments:
· A thorough dusting, mopping, and Hoovering of every room
· A wipe down of the walls and perhaps the ceilings if needed to remove stains (and if the surface is washable!)
· Extracting pollutants and dirt from the carpets
· Upholstery cleaning to remove all dust and dander
· Thoroughly cleaning the curtains
· A complete clean up of the bathroom fixtures and all surfaces with antibacterial, antiviral cleaner
· Wiping down all worktops and appliances in the kitchen
This complete treatment of your home will eliminate viruses, bacteria, pet dander, and possible remaining mould spores. Because of the clean condition of your home, that sour odour will be resolved, as well.
Effective Cleaning Services…At Your Service
While this discussion today highlighted the need for improving indoor air quality at your residence, bear in mind that this is also a factor in your office or workplace. Similar measures must be adopted at work to keep your employees healthy, happy, and productive.
Should you need our assistance with improved air quality, we are here to serve you. Please feel free to call us or book online and we will schedule you for the next available appointment