HOW TO CHECK THE HEALTH OF YOUR HOME
Let us first understand why the health of our home is important.
Today health and hygiene are on everyone’s mind and post. Not surprising as we go through this phase and are trying to figure out what went wrong and how we can rectify it.
Physical fitness and mental wellbeing are important and we seem to understand their need in our daily lives for a healthy living. But is that enough or are we missing something?
What about our immediate environment? Our home..our space..Does that have an impact on our health?Look around – we are surrounded by materials that we know nothing or very little about.
The ceiling, the walls, the furniture, the air we breathe indoors – they all contribute to our health.
Our physical and social environments have a greater impact on our state of health than our lifestyle and behaviours, our access to healthcare or even our genetics.We spend more than 90% of our time indoors, surrounded by materials that may be harmful to our health and breathing the air that may cause illnesses at some point or the other. In fact we have very little awareness of our built environment.
Look at your home like it were your body with different functional parts.
- The bone structure is like the framework of your house – the walls, the ceiling, the flooring.
- The organs are like different rooms of the home that help perform different functions.
- The respiratory system provides oxygen to the entire body and so do the windows, doors and open spaces.
- The nervous system is connected to your senses – touch, smell and taste. Similarly your house has a nervous system that gives you the connect to your senses.
For your body to stay healthy you need to be sure you are taking good care of yourself. The same applies to your house. It needs healthy materials that are made organically, are sustainable and stay healthy. We work towards getting rid of toxins in our body; our home too needs to be rid of toxins. But first we must find where the toxins are? Which materials are harmful to us?
To ask careful questions about what’s in the materials that make your home;
From your walls to your mattress, you need to be aware and knowledgeable. This is where I come into the picture and hope to guide you with my passion and expertise!
Here is a quick checklist to measure the health component of your home –
Seven Principles of a Healthy Home –
(As per the Department of Health, US)
- Keep it dry – Moisture in homes can lead to respiratory problems. Damp and wet environments harbour pests, mould, rodents, cockroaches. Make sure to fix plumbing and structural leaks, drainage issues and avoid buildup of steam in the kitchen and bathrooms. Mould and mildew (form of fungus) can cause or aggravate allergies, asthma, respiratory illnesses. Watch around the edges of the showers, sinks, bathtubs and the distinct musty smell that indicates a problem.
- Keep it clean – Clean homes reduce pest infestation and exposure to contaminants. Keep surfaces clean and reduce clutter.
- Keep it ventilated – Increasing the supply of fresh air can help reduce indoor asthma triggers and other contaminants. Use exhaust fans, open windows especially when you are cleaning, cooking or using chemicals in your home.
- Keep it pest-free – All pests, including cockroaches, mice and rats need food, water and shelter to live. Keep your home pest-free by storing food in pest-resistant containers, fixing leaks and sealing cracks in floors, ceilings, walls, reducing the amount of clutter in your home and storing garbage outside your home with a lid.
- Keep it contaminant-free – Contaminants in the home may include lead, radon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, environmental tobacco smoke and carbon monoxide. Formaldehyde, which is the most commonly found VOC can cause many adverse health effects like nausea, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory disorders, and can cause damage to your kidneys, liver and nervous system. VOCs are commonly found in furniture, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, paints, household products, drapes, carpets and electronics.
- Keep it safe – Children and older adults are at risk for some type of injuries. Secure loose rugs, loose tiles, sharp objects in play area.
- Keep it well maintained – Take care of minor repairs and problems before they become large repairs and problems.
A healthy home environment may be as crucial as eating healthily and exercising to prevent disease and stay energetic and well.
Paying attention to your living environment can have an effect not only on your long-term health but even how good you feel in the moment.
In the coming posts, I will be sharing more ideas and suggestions carefully curated by me based on detailed studies done by many on this subject.