Over 90% of our day gets spent indoors. This makes the quality of your home’s environment especially important to your health.
Poor air circulation, high humidity, and bacteria growth are only a few of the conditions that could be hindering your health.
So, are you wondering: is my house making me sick? Read on for 7 warning signs that could make this true.
Is My House Making Me Sick?
Feeling under the weather while living under your roof? If you feel sick all the time, it could be a cause of something serious, that’s lurking inside the walls of your home.
Toxins and mold can build up in the home for many reasons. This can cause irritation of the throat, nose, or eyes. As well as flu-like symptoms, appetite changes, headaches, and disrupted sleep.
First, it’s important to rule out other causes, like a common cold, flu, or allergies. Note if these symptoms only occur at home, but seem to get better when you’re at work all day. If you have an unexplained illness that doesn’t seem to subside, it may be time to take a look for these warning signs.
7 Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Home
Still wondering, can a house make you sick? If Mold, bacteria, and other chemicals are living in your home it can poison your body. Here are 7 signs that your home may be providing an unhealthy living environment.
1. Water Damage
Water can get into the home through a leaky roof, open windows, or flooding basement. These conditions create moisture, which is ideal for mold growth.
Exposure to mold can cause respiratory issues, headaches, and fatigue. It can also be dangerous to those who have asthma and other allergies.
Signs of water damage include a strange smell, discoloration, and water stains. Leaky pipes are another culprit that can cause mold growth in the bathroom or kitchen.
2. Bacteria Build Up
Despite our best cleaning efforts, microscopic bacteria continue to live inside our homes. Your kitchen sponge alone can contain over 362 different types of bacteria. This bacteria can put you at risk of cross-contamination, E. coli, and food-borne illness.
Dish towels and bath mats are others places where bacteria like to live. This risk increases with dish towels that get used for both wiping hands and cleaning up spills. Not handling clean up of raw meats the right way can also contribute to a sick home.
Bacteria also lurks on your bed sheets. It comes from dead skin cells, body excretions, and the 26 gallons of sweat that a person secretes in bed per year.
When the body sweats, it creates ideal growing conditions for the bacteria to thrive. So the longer you go without washing your sheets the more bacteria you’re harboring. Along with fresh sheets, here are more tips on getting a good night’s rest.
3. Dust, Dirt, and Dander
Breathing in dust can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. Dust mites and pet dander can also cause a skin reaction.
In over 90% of homes, dust contains harmful toxins. These chemicals can interrupt the immune system and cause sickness.
Another issue is the dirt that enters your home from outside. It can contain pesticides that are dangerous to your health. The chemicals can cause development issues, infertility, and even cancer.
4. A Cluttered and Unclean Fridge
You may have more than perishable groceries hiding inside your refrigerator. Unwashed fruits and vegetables can carry pesticides and bacteria.
Cross-contamination from raw meat and chicken can also cause health problems. Exposure to this increases your risk of salmonella, listeria, and E.coli.
When infected with listeria or salmonella you may always feel nauseous. Other people experience a fever, cramping, or muscle aches.
5. A Habitat for Humidity
If your home has over 50% humidity levels, you may be allowing mold to grow. This is often the case in bathrooms and laundry rooms with high moisture. The scary thing is that this can happen out of sight, behind your walls.
When exposed to this you may experience allergic reactions and fatigue. As well as other health conditions like respiratory infections.
6. Peeling Paint
Old houses are charming and full of detailed characteristics. Yet, they may also be carrying high amounts of lead paint, which can be toxic.
Any home built before 1978 is at risk. As paint peels or chips, it can release lead dust particles. Aging windowsills are a common area where this happens.
Lead poisoning can bring about digestive issues and behavioral changes. It can also cause damage to the brain and kidneys.
This home health issue is especially threatening to young children. As they tend to put everything in their mouths.
7. A Collection of Chemical-Filled Products
Some of the most harmful products can be hiding right inside your cleaning closet. Many of these cleaning agents contain harsh carcinogens that are bad for our lungs and skin.
These chemicals may interrupt the endocrine system, which can result in a change in our hormones. Hormone disruption can cause issues with infertility and low testosterone levels.
Using these products can also increase the risk of cancer. Spic and Span and Scrubbing Bubbles top the list of the worst offenders.
Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Health
Before you panic…know that there are a few things you can do to get your home back in good health.
Better Air Quality
Air quality can answer the question of is my house making me sick? Proper AC maintenance and troubleshooting tips improve circulation. Air quality testing Richardson says that a carbon-coated filter can help trap air particles, lowering indoor ozone by as much as 50%.
Using HEPA filters in your heating and cooling systems can help remove pollutants. Fan vents are an important bath installation tip for lowering moisture levels and improving airflow.
It’s also smart to use a dehumidifier or humidifier to regulate the air. An air purifier can also help remove toxins. Invest in a few houseplants and always open windows to let in fresh air when you can.
You may also want to have your home tested for radon. You cannot smell this gas, but exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. Symptoms of radon sickness include coughing, wheezing, and respiratory infections.
A Cleaner Environment
Remember to wash those sheets once a week to avoid bacteria build up. You’ll also want to vacuum and dust weekly. Invest in a water filter system to remove harmful bacteria, metals, and nitrates.
Replace your sponges before they start to smell. Also use dish towels that don’t hold moisture, like Turkish cotton. It helps to leave shoes outside so they don’t track dirt and chemicals into the home.
It also helps to use natural cleaning products with safer ingredients. This also includes organic skin care products and hygiene essentials.
Maintaining a Happy and Healthy Home
Once you know the answer to is my house making me sick, you can take steps toward eliminating toxins from your home environment. Start by incorporating a weekly cleaning routine. Then you can begin to make changes in your home’s maintenance techniques.
Keep all this in mind for any home renovations you plan to do. As you should consider home health an important goal when making both interior and exterior home updates.