After a long, looooooong winter – one that felt like it would end sometime in 2020 – summer is finally within sight. And thank goodness for that.
But before you dive into the pool, crank up the air conditioner, or start that victory garden, you’ll want to make sure that your water, air, and soil are clean and safe. Let’s face it; the frigid temperatures, wild winter weather, and common wear and tear that are typically noticeable this time of year are all indicators of potential contamination.
Here are a few protective measures to take to ensure that you and your children are safe in the coming months:
Test your soil:
The prospects of growing your own herbs and vegetables are quite appetizing. But flaking paint chips and lead particles from the exterior of your home or even older homes nearby can contaminate your soil. To minimize the likelihood, especially if your home (or your neighbor’s) was constructed before 1979, you should start your garden as far away from your home as possible. Plant a natural border fence, or create a raised bed. But even those protective measures may not be enough to prevent soil contamination. If a test reveals the levels of lead in your soil are just too high, you may want to consider removal and replacement of the contaminated soil.
Test your indoor air quality:
It won’t be long before air conditioners are operating round-the-clock. But if they or your HVAC system haven’t been cleaned or the filters haven’t been changed, they could be harboring dust, mold, or other contaminants such as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and other toxic materials that can be found in paints, solvents, cleansers, carpets, disinfectants, air fresheners, pesticides, nicotine, glue, home furnishings and building materials. The only way to know for sure is to test the air you breathe.
Test your pool water:
If you have a pool, you should be particularly aware of that contaminated lead dust could end up in the water. If a contractor or repairman doesn’t take proper precautions when sanding down layers of old paint or renovating a home built before 1978, it could end up in your pool. Learn how to protect yourself from potential pool contaminants.
Inspect the basement, attic and crawl spaces:
Freezing winter temperatures can cause cracks and shifts in the foundation, and that can lead to water seepage. Check your foundation inside and outside for damage, and identify any leaks, cracks, and/or mold in your basement. Crawlspaces should also be inspected for standing water, mold, fungus, humidity, and signs of rodents. If the air has a musty smell in either of these spaces, you may have a mold problem.
If you have questions or would like to schedule an indoor air quality inspection, call us today at (800) 392-6468 or visit RTKEnvironmental.com.