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House & Garden Today



The question of whether your home is a danger zone is only meaningful if you know every single danger that your home could pose. Beneath the floorboards, on the carpets, in the walls, in the attic, I mean we're not experts by any means (unless you are of course, and this post isn't relevant to you), so we can't possibly know what we're looking for unless we are told about it or read about it.


So to shed some light on what to look out for and whether you should be concerned if your home's a danger zone, here are a few points to think about when considering the health of your home.

Asbestos

You may have heard about this issue here and there, well hopefully you have. To put it simply asbestos used to be referred to as the ''magic mineral'' which was used to insulate houses before the 1980s. However, this magic people spoke of, probably wasn't intended to affect peoples health, in some cases to the extent of causing death. So yes, asbestos is serious stuff, therefore if you live an old home and you suspect you've seen it, (it's like a grey, gritty, dense material) don't touch it! As Disturbing it shall stimulate the toxic fibres to be released into the air, putting you at risk of breathing it into your lungs.


If you suspect it lies within a home you've just bought or have owned for a while, asbestos removal is imperative for the health of you and your cohabitees.

Mould

The musty smell is likely to strike you once you're in a house infested with mould, and 'it's almost always found in areas where stagnant water is rife. Does black stuff in the corner of the bathroom tiles sound familiar? Or a musty smell deriving from the basement arouse your curiosity? Then you may have a damp and mould problem in your home.


If the problem is reasonably small, you may be able to tackle this yourself. Just avoid skin contact with the mould, cover your nose and mouth with a mask, and wear goggles to protect your eyes. Run a bowl of soapy water and open the windows in the infected room. Swipe away any present mould with your cloth, but do not by any means try and brush the mould away. Doing so will only cause spores to release into the air. Mould impacts our health when we inhale spores. It can wreak havoc with your lungs. You may notice if you have asthma, in the presence of mouldy spaces as your symptoms may flare up, and your chest becomes a little tighter. If you're not entirely sure of how to get rid of mould safely don't hesitate to contact an expert for advice. If you think the damp is being caused by a leaky pipe, you will need to call a plumber to fix the pipe first; otherwise, the musty smells and black mould will just keep on reoccurring.

Lead

Another concern to add to your list is the potential for lead poisoning. Again, as with asbestos, lead used to be used in houses before the 1980s in products such as interior paint until it was quite rightly banned. Lead poisoning is caused by exposure to the toxic and poisonous lead metal found in the paint used on your walls, on furniture and sometimes even in toys.


A build-up of lead in the body can lead to fatal conditions. Although sometimes the effects are unknown until months or even years later, where it’s researched that it gradually damages your mental and physical health. Children, in particular, are at the most risk of lead poisoning. If you think you or your family may have been exposed to lead poisoning, you can book a check-up at the doctors who may be able to perform a blood test to see whether or not your or your family have been infected.


If the culprit of poison and toxicity lies within your interior design, you will need to remove this at your earliest convenience. There are two options to hand. You can either do it yourself, by wearing overalls, goggles, masks and sanding and cleaning away the lead, so long as your family are not present. Or you could save yourself and your family any further potential physical and mental damage, and call in the experts to remove it for you. Either way, one of the options is necessary sooner rather than later.


Pests

It goes without saying that pests in your home are never good for your interior or yours and your 'family's health, inevitably adding to your home becoming a danger zone. Pests are considered to be small rodents and insects that one way or another enter your abode and find a place to settle, nest and breed. Several things can attract pests to your home. Such as leftover food, and crumbs on the floor, dark corners and crevices and cluttered spaces to name a few.


Picture by Robert-Owen-Wahl


If you're wondering how they get into your house in the first place here are a few examples. If you have pets, they may hitch a ride on your furry friends, or they may even hitch a ride on you as a way into your home. Unless your home is airtight, any gaps and holes on the external aspect of the house are simply a gateway for all things creepy crawly.


Pests attacking your home isn't personal, but it does increase the danger zone qualities in your home that you probably could do without. Such as droppings can cause bacteria, and some pests such as termites can cause bites.


There are ways, depending on the extent of your pest issue, to prevent and cure the problem. You can start by fixing any holes in your home for starters, and make sure that your pets are receiving their flea treatments regularly to prevent your familiar from playing host for fleas feeding times. Also keeping a clean and uncluttered home is one of the best ways to avoid problems with pests. Such as regularly wiping and sweeping the floor of food and debris and decluttering untidy rooms to reduce hiding places for any pests. If you have problem with pests that you feel has stemmed beyond you attempt at a DIY regime to clean and disinfect, as with the other issues above, it may be time to call the experts to eradicate the problem for you.


Here we’ve covered a few of the ways your home may be a danger to your health and that of your family, and the steps you can take to either prevent or tackle the issue.

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