What Every Realtor Should Know About Mold

Do You Know What You’re Breathing?

The air inside your home isn’t as clean as you may think. Common air pollutants can lower the quality of the air you and your family breathe. Minimize your exposure to allergens by following these hints, and help your family to breathe easy.

Allergens such as mold and dust mites thrive in humid conditions. These can cause nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, and can aggravate asthma. Prevent moisture from collecting in the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms by using the exhaust fans.

Regular house cleaning, such as dusting or vacuuming can help reduce dust mites, pollens, and pet dander. On dry days, open windows and air out the house. It will help with air circulation and dilute the concentration of pollutants in the air. Replace or clean your air conditioner’s filter regularly. Many houseplants are natural air purifiers. Palms, ferns, and English ivy are among some of the most effective varieties.

Make sure your stove and oven are properly ventilated and that the vents are not obstructed. When using household cleaners, do not mix any chemical products as they may be harmful if inhaled. Consider using natural products to clean such as baking soda, lemon juice, salt, vinegar, and borax. Permit smoking outdoors only, and try to limit the use of candles, incense, or other products that produce soot

Given some attention, the quality of air in your home can be greatly improved. Soon you won’t need to go outside for a breath of fresh air.

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Duct Cleaning Before Winter

Should I have the ductwork in my house cleaned before Winter?

While it may make sense to have ductwork in your house cleaned because dust is visible on the grates and in ductwork, cleaning ductwork has never been proven to prevent health problems and according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), studies are inconclusive as to whether or not dust levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts.

Young attractive young woman doing cleaning, wiping dust in the living room using blue rag, wearing rubber protective yellow gloves. Home, housekeeping concept. Focus on hand

Much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is also important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes.

Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, pets or just moving around can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust in air ducts poses any risk to your health.

It may be unnecessary to have your air ducts cleaned if no one in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses. It is normal for the return registers to become dust-laden as air is pulled through the grates.

However, you may want to consider having air ducts in your house cleaned if:

• Numerous sections of your heating and cooling system are not accessible for inspection.

• If insulation in ductwork gets wet, it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.

• The cause of mold growth should be eliminated so that it does not reoccur.

• If you think that mold is growing in the ductwork, only an expert can determine if it is or is not mold and may require lab analysis for confirmation. Highland Home Inspections offers Mold Testing services and can help determine if the substance is a toxigenic or allergenic mold.

Whether or not you decide to have the air ducts in your home cleaned, preventing dirt and water from entering your system is the most effective way to prevent contamination.

Knowledge about air duct cleaning is in its early stages so a blanket recommendation can not be given regarding ductwork cleaning. If you decide to have your air ducts cleaned, take the same consumer precautions you normally would in assessing the service provider’s competencies and reliability

Fall is fast upon us and we look forward to helping you with continued success.

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