Is staying home making you even sicker?

4 ways you home may be making you sick photo: stock image

Are you, despite having had the flu shot, swallowed copious amounts of daily immune boosters and avoiding anyone who is sick still feeling poorly?  You might find your own home is actually making you sick.

“Most of us are aware of the preventative measures we can take to protect ourselves against the germs that lurk beyond the safety of our front doors. But, many homeowners are unaware that their homes could potentially be the cause behind their congestion,” explains Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of leading real estate firm, RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Hidden germs

There are many hidden germs loitering around our living spaces that pose potential health risks. For starters, when was the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator? More than just a quick wipe down of the door with dishwashing liquid and a sponge, but a thorough clean to get rid of any potential risks of food poisoning and germs.

After the recent listeriosis scare many are now well aware that to keep your fridge properly clean you need to unpack and wipe down each shelf regularly, clean between the grooves of the plastic door seals with a toothbrush, and dust off the electric coil behind your freezer.

ALSO READ: How repotting can give your plants a new lease on life

Cleaning the coil is especially important as it tends to blow hot air into your home in its attempt to prevent frost build-up. To avoid dust particles from being blown around, you need to be dusting behind your refrigerator regularly.

People prone to allergies need to be aware of what cleaning products they use as many of those with fragrances have the potential to play havoc on sensitive sinuses. Other products containing dye and ammonium compounds can also aggravate skin irritations.

To stay safe it is better to use natural cleaning solutions such as vinegar, water or baking soda as much as possible when cleaning your home.

ALSO READ: Tell tale signs of wood borer

Goslett also warns that owners of older home have to be wary of historical toxins. “Those living in houses built before 1980 need to ensure that there are no traces of Asbestos or lead paint in their homes. These common building materials were discovered to pose severe long-term health risks and are no longer used in any form of construction today. If you are currently looking at properties, it is important to inquire about this when viewing older homes,” Goslett explains.

Then there is mold

Of course, there is the common suspect that most of us know to be harmful: mold. Not all mold species are hazardous, but all mold points to dampness problems; and this poses health risks in any home. Usually found in damp places such as bathrooms or kitchens, mold can also build up in unseen places like corners that don’t receive a lot of sunlight or ventilation. If you’re really struggling with sinus problems and ongoing illness, it might be worth investigating the inside of your ceiling to ensure that there is no mold build-up hidden away up there.

“Factors that pose a risk to our health do not only live outside our doors, but they also live inside our homes. Homeowners ought to take this into consideration if they stand any chance of defeating the odds and remaining healthy in face of the onslaught of runny noses and phlegmy coughs that await them beyond their boundary walls this flu season,” Goslett concludes.

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  AUTHOR
Evelyn Morris
Journalist and Photographer

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