Getting sick is one of the most unpleasant experiences in life. It can cause us to miss work, be unable to do things around the house, and just feel bad. It also costs us money for doctor visits and medication, and if the diagnosis is difficult, that cost can really skyrocket. Throw in the uncomfortable nature of some illnesses and things just get worse.
What works better than anything is to try not to get sick to begin with. When it comes to our health, it’s absolutely true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to start out on the path to avoiding sickness is to look within our homes. We spend most of our time there, and more important than that, we have the most control there.
Sometimes it’s hard to accept that something in our home could be making us sick, but very frequently, that is exactly what has caused the illness. So let’s look at some of the things in the home that we should be watching for.
Most of us take great pride in maintaining a clean home, and we often feel that since we see no bugs, we have no bugs. Unfortunately, many of the worst pests are talented at staying hidden until we’ve all gone to bed. Cockroaches are a great example. They come out at night and can track bacteria from unclean areas like the bathroom into the areas where we eat.
Getting ahead of cockroaches, flies, ants, and all the other unwanted visitors can be done in great measure by the homeowner, but one firm providing pest control in Orange County CA can attest to the inevitability of the need for professional intervention, especially for prevention. Get a contract for pest control and prevent the problem from returning.
There has been a certain hysteria in the media at times about Stachybotrys and other molds that have been blamed for a myriad of mysterious chronic illnesses in families. It has led to quite a bit of unwarranted work and expense to mitigate problems that may not really be there.
While researchers cannot definitively link the sensationalized “sick house” molds with actual medical cases, some mold spores can impact your health. The truth is that there are two basic types of mold illnesses. The first is the typical allergic reaction that you may also experience with pollen, dust, or pet dander. The second is the type where the mold itself is toxic and causes illness.
The good news is that while mold cleanup can be costly, prevention is more practical. Have a home inspection done before buying, and then maintain appropriate moisture levels in the home. Run a dehumidifier if the air needs to be drier. Improve ventilation in attics, crawlspaces, cabinets, and basements. Moisture is the food that mold craves, so keep things dry.
One of the most deadly and common things in a home where natural gas, propane or wood are used for cooking or heating is carbon monoxide. Malfunctioning furnaces, failing water heaters, and leaky ovens can create a cloud of invisible, odorless gas that can prove deadly.
The challenge of carbon monoxide is that it can be present in small quantities for a long time and produce nondescript symptoms that might mirror the flu or other common maladies.
Rather than risk exposure, every home should be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. Children should understand that these alarms are just as serious as those for fire. In the meantime, have equipment properly maintained and serviced.
Our homes should be sanctuaries where we can avoid the dangers of the outside world. Yet sometimes there are unwanted issues in our homes that can make it just as dangerous as anything we encounter elsewhere. Preventing these issues can go a long way towards making our home the safe, clean place we want it to be.