If you’ve got dampness or mould around your home then you will no doubt be familiar with the side-effects; allergies, sneezing, the itchy & watery eyes. There are so many health factors associated with living near dampness and mould. Our healthy home expert Jo from Notoxrox – a qualified Building Biologist, shares her top 7 tips to help us create a healthy indoor environment at home for our families.
1. Keep an even temperature
One of the first things for people to understand is that it’s really important to evenly heat the home, especially during winter. You’ve got to keep the temperature and humidity the same throughout the house to really prevent moisture build-up. A lot of people want to just heat the room they are using at the time to save on energy but when you do that you can create moisture problems.
2. Extractor fans
Another really important thing to do is to make sure that the extractor fans in all the wet rooms – bathrooms, laundry and range hood in the kitchen – are working properly. They need to be strong and working efficiently, extracting the air to the outside and not into the roof cavity. And it’s also very important that we remember to wipe down and clean them regularly so they don’t have dust and build-up on them.
You need to vacuum regularly and thoroughly and make sure your vacuum uses a Hepa filter. It’s very important that you’re not just sucking up all that dust and then recirculating, and if you’re using a regular vacuum that’s what could be happening. The dust and really small particulate matter could just be shooting out the back and into the air.
You also need to be doing a thorough vacuum of each room and surfaces, rather than just a quick overall skim. You should spend around 15 minutes per room and don’t forget to also do couches, curtains and mattresses.
It’s really important to try and reduce your clutter around the house; think under beds, behind couches and “that” cupboard we all have where we just shove everything. People like to hide things and that just creates more clutter – and obviously with that comes more dust. Get a really good wet microfiber cloth and go over surfaces and objects really thoroughly.
Dust mites live in all your fabrics and furnishings and dust and humidity work hand in hand, so you really want to keep the humidity down and keep things clean – keep that dust away!
5. Open your windows
Keep your windows open and keep the air circulating every day. You do have to be careful that it’s not really humid outside and you’re just allowing that humid air in the house, but it is important to have the air circulating around the house daily. Try and open your windows every day, even just for a little bit.
6. Empty gutters and downpipes
Check the gutters, downpipes and drainage around the house. It’s really important that you haven’t got a problem and there is no water dripping or falling beside the wall of the house because that can create extra moisture that can come inside. Garden beds up against the walls can sometimes be a problem too – particularly on the south side of the home. Make sure you always get on to any water leaks or problems ASAP.
7. Use a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is a great way to manage that indoor climate in your home by helping remove moisture from the air. It’s about creating that microclimate and the optimum level of humidity in the home. A dehumidifier that also helps you monitor and see the humidity levels with a display or app is great because you know it’s exactly the right level of humidity. That’s really important because then you know you’re not going to get condensation building up which is really going to stop the mould. Mould can’t survive without moisture.
My Mould Story
Watch as Healthy Homes Expert Jo, takes a tour around Emmy’s home and points out all of the hidden causes of dampness and mould.
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