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Seven Steps to Make Your Home Healthier for the Holidays: The Ultimate Checklist

At this time of year, our homes become the heart of holiday celebrations. But before decking the halls, make sure your festive spaces are not just merry but also healthy. Here’s our ultimate checklist for holiday home health:

healthy home

Musty Odors:

While you may be accustomed to a subtle lingering musty scent, your guests will undoubtedly notice it as soon as they step through the door. And if they happen to have allergies, that scent might signal a mold issue, so you might want to seat your guests far from the turkey and equip them with a box of tissues as you prepare for a symphony of sneezes. Mold can trigger allergies, asthma, and various respiratory issues. Since mold’s presence can be elusive, it’s advisable to enlist the help of an independent mold inspection expert to thoroughly examine your home and eliminate this hidden hazard as soon as possible.

Evaluate Indoor Air Quality:

You’ve scrubbed the floors, touched up the paint, and banished that old, musty rug for a fresh, new carpet. While these home improvements might seem like the path to a healthier home, they might be doing more harm than good. The truth is many everyday household items release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These odorless chemicals, found in detergents, furniture, cleaning products, and even candles, can trigger headaches, fatigue, and even more severe health problems.

In fact, studies have shown that indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, making it no surprise that we tend to get sicker during the winter months when we’re spending more time indoors, with windows closed. Mold, another major culprit of poor indoor air quality, can thrive in damp, poorly ventilated areas, causing a host of respiratory issues.

An indoor air quality test can help you identify and address these hidden hazards, ensuring that you and your family are breathing clean healthy air.

musty odorProperly Ventilate Bathrooms:

Holiday house guests’ post-bathroom visits may require a well-functioning fan to mitigate any lingering odors. A clean, functional bathroom fan is your best defense, which also works against excess moisture and mold. It’s a simple fix with big benefits for air quality.

Decorate Safely:

Before you embark on your festive decorating frenzy, pause to consider potential hidden hazards lurking beneath the cheerful façade. Homes built before 1978 may harbor lead paint, a deadly menace when the painted surfaces are disturbed. If you suspect your home might be harboring this insidious threat, don’t delay – get it tested promptly.

Aside from lead, even the seemingly innocent twinkling lights, artificial trees, and ornaments can conceal hidden dangers. Read labels carefully to avoid bringing toxic substances into your home and jeopardizing your family’s health.

hanukkah safetyProtect Your Guests from Hidden Bathroom Hazards:

Don’t let a dirty shower curtain or bathmat put a damper on your festivities. Your shower space, curtain and bathmat might seem harmless, but they can harbor mold spores, bacteria, and other unpleasant surprises. Wash them with baking soda and tea tree oil to eradicate mold and bacteria.

Fix Leaking Sinks:

Leaking sinks aren’t just water wasters, they’re also health hazards. The damp conditions beneath a sink can quickly foster mold growth, which in turn can trigger asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues. Mold spores are always present in the environment, so the key to prevention is eliminating moisture sources.

Keep the Chill Out:

Avoid a holiday catastrophe by keeping your thermostat temperature higher this winter, especially if you’re traveling. Unless they are insulated properly, pipes can freeze and burst during your absence, causing extensive damage. The cost of repairing a burst pipe can far exceed the savings you achieve by keeping your house cooler. Protect your home and your holiday spirit by keeping your pipes warm.

mold testWhen prepping for the holidays, these steps will ensure that the atmosphere in your home is not only joyous but also healthy. Embrace the season with health in mind, and you’ll gift yourself and your loved ones the comfort of a home that’s not only decked with boughs of holly but also maintained according to the highest standards of health and safety.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help to make your home a healthy haven. Happy Holidays!

 

 

70% of homes are estimated to have mold behind walls. (Harvard EDU)

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