Health hazards in and around the home

10 June 2021 | Life Style

The pandemic has highlighted just how quickly germs can spread. Though everyone takes the necessary preventative measures when leaving the home, it is important to remember that there are aspects within the home that can present certain health risks as well.
Now that everyone is spending more time within their homes, and with winter fast approaching, it is becoming even more important to address any repair issues in and around the home. Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, explains that doing so will not only remove any potential health hazards, but it will also increase the appeal of the home which will help homeowners sell at a later stage should they wish to do so.
“Issues such as cracked window and door frames make for cold and drafty interiors which have multiple health implications. Mould and mildew point to greater dampness problems which could pose potential health risks. Mould is usually found in damp places such as bathrooms or kitchens and can build up in unseen places like corners that don’t receive a lot of sunlight or ventilation. Addressing these kinds of issues will not only keep homeowners healthy, but it will also improve the overall appeal of the home,” says Goslett.
Beyond these repair issues, RE/MAX of Southern Africa points out a few other areas of the home that could pose potential health threats:

Kitchen
To remove any potential risks of food poisoning and germs, homeowners need to clean out the refrigerator regularly. Unpack and wipe down each shelf and be sure to clean between the grooves of the plastic door seals with a toothbrush. It is also important to dust off the electric coil behind your freezer. This coil, which helps ward against frost build-up, blows hot air into your home. Dusting this regularly will avoid dust particles from being blown around into your kitchen.

Garden
Those experiencing allergies should research the plants in their garden. Plants with a high pollen count are known to inflame allergies and cause congestion. It is also important to inspect your garden for insect holes and nests. There are many insects that can cause harm if they bite or sting a human, one of the most common being a tick whose bite can cause Lyme disease. Try to keep plant beds away from the windows and doors to prevent dangerous insects from crawling into the home.

Ceiling
The ceiling is an area of the home that homeowners seldom access. For this reason, it is possible for mould and dampness to be growing in the ceiling or for rodents, birds, and other disease-carrying creatures to be nesting there without a homeowner’s knowledge. Air-borne germs from these carriers can then filter down into the home, posing serious health risks to the homeowners. To prevent this, it is recommended that homeowners occasionally inspect their ceiling, being sure to wear a mask and gloves in case they stumble across something potentially harmful.
“Factors that pose a risk to our health do not only live outside our doors, but they also live inside our homes. Homeowners ought to take this into consideration and address any repair issues in the home as soon as they arise. Keeping a home well-maintained will not only prevent health risks but will also end up saving a homeowner from having to make costly repairs to issues that have been ignored,” Goslett concludes.

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