Out of sight, out of mind reigns true when it comes to hidden dangers in your home. When’s the last time you had your home wiring inspected? Do you notice a musty smell in your bathroom that doesn’t go away after cleaning it? While it’s easy to think everything is OK when there’s not a blatant issue like a leaking ceiling, there are a number of hidden hazards that could be affecting the health of you and your family. Keep these unseen threats in mind and be proactive in keeping your home safe. 

Indoor Air Quality 

Most people are concerned about outdoor air pollution but oftentimes forget about the air inside their own homes. While harmful airborne particles are sometimes easy to target with a particular smell, such as odor from fire, smoke, or sewer damage, you can have polluted air without realizing it. Poor indoor air quality could irritate your eyes, nose, and throat, along with causing headaches, fatigue, or even more serious diseases if the quality is severe. 

How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality 

There are simple changes you can make to improve your home’s air quality, such as changing an HVAC filter and buying air-cleaning plants. If you want to invest in your indoor air environment, you should consider buying an air purification system along with an air quality monitor to ensure you have clean air in your home. If there is a particular odor and you can’t determine the source or don’t know how to remove it, call in a pro to help you detect and eliminate it. 

Old Wiring 

Old, worn-out wiring or a mix of old and new wiring can pose a risk to your home. You should check to make sure any newly added wiring that’s combined with old wiring is up to code, otherwise this could lead to blown circuits. Even worse, faulty wiring or old wiring could cause a house fire. 

What to Do if You Have Old Wiring 

If you recently bought a house or are unsure about the current state of your home’s wiring, consider calling a professional electrician to examine your home. This simple inspection could save you and your family from a serious, unexpected safety hazard. 

Toxic Carpeting 

People tend to put carpet in their home in living areas such as living rooms or bedrooms to add a level of comfort and coziness, but most people don’t realize that carpet can be full of bacteria, mold, and other allergens. This is often overlooked as it is so common in most homes and is easily disregarded if the carpet appears to be clean. Along with allergens, carpet can also contain toxic chemicals from its production, which can stick around for years after it’s installed. 

How to Mediate Toxic Carpet 

While the best solution is to remove and replace your carpet altogether, that’s not always a viable option, or you may still want the comfort of having carpeting in your home. However, even if you vacuum your carpet regularly, this doesn’t prevent the bacteria, mold, or toxins from harming your health. Everyday steps to prevent this could include placing mats outside of your home to prevent excess dirt from entering and making sure any spills are properly cleaned and treated. 

 To prevent a major buildup of these harmful particles, it’s recommended to deep-clean your carpets every year, preferably using steam cleaning or hot water extraction. It’s important after cleaning your carpets to make sure they’re properly dried, otherwise it invites the potential for mold and mildew. 

Unexpected Places with Mold 

Mold can be hiding in many different spaces in your home, including areas such as your carpet, behind the walls, in the window sills, and more. It can be difficult to detect that it’s there, but aside from seeing it, common signs of mold include a musty smell, allergy symptoms, bubbly-looking walls, and signs of water damage. While short-term exposure to mold can cause irritating symptoms, long-term exposure can lead to more severe health problems, including intense wheezing and infection. It’s important to treat mold quickly as it will only grow and get worse. 

How to Remove Mold 

You can remove visible mold yourself by washing the surface with a bleach and water mixture, hot and soapy water, or a mold removal product. If you find or suspect a larger mold problem, though, you should have it inspected and removed by a professional. 

Radon Gas 

Radon gas is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that forms naturally in soil and rocks, which is then released through decay. There are a number of ways this gas can enter your home, including through cracks in your foundation, well water, and building materials, and both new and old homes can have radon problems. Radon is a serious health concern, with prolonged exposure leading to lung cancer. 

How to Reduce Radon

You can purchase and perform at-home radon tests to check and ensure you don’t have elevated levels, or you could hire a professional to test the levels in your home. You can reduce it by making sure all cracks in the floors and walls are sealed and by increasing the ventilation in your home. While you can do this yourself, it’s recommended to have an experienced contractor perform this for you. 

Termites 

No one wants pests in their homes, especially not the kinds that can live in your flooring and walls. Termites can harm both your health and your safety by spreading mold, causing illnesses such as fungal infections, causing structural home damage, and damaging the electrical wiring in your home. Though these pests are hidden, you can look for signs such as blisters in your wood flooring, hollowed and damaged wood, droppings, discarded termite wings, and peeling paint. 

How to Get Rid of Termites 

It’s important to act quickly if you believe your home might be infested with termites. There are termite-killing products you can use outside of your home, along with chemicals and termite baits that you can use inside. While you can use DIY solutions, the best way to get rid of termites is to call a pest control company and let the professionals keep your home safe. 

Prevent & Resolve Your Home’s Hidden Health Problems 

A number of the hidden health issues could be prevented through proper cleanup and restoration after damaging events, or by being proactive and deep cleaning and inspecting your home. If you need professional help cleaning and remediating your home after an event like a flood, or if you need mold and mildew removal or deep-cleaning services for tile, carpet, rugs and more, contact ServiceMaster by Rice. We have certified technicians available 24/7 across the state of Iowa and in southern Minnesota. See a full list of our services and let us help keep you and your family healthy.