3 Health Risks You Didn’t Know Were Inside Your Home.
Residents of a house are always at risk of affecting their health while at home. When inside our own four walls, we let our guard down and do not always make a note of things that should really be considered. There is nothing more precious than the lives of your family though, and if you are a landlord, you need to look after your tenants as if they really were relatives.
Scientific evidence has arisen proving links between poor health and poor housing which mainly come down to problems with construction and maintenance. Did you know that poor housing causes illnesses and injuries that cost the NHS over £600 million a year? Those most at risk from the subtle threats are the elderly who live an isolated life style, young children, and the disabled, and we are sure you will understand why when we tell you what the most common of the threats are.
Since we spend 90% of our time indoors, it is important to make sure we are living at a comfortable temperature, but poor energy efficiency combined with the accelerating costs of fuel make it unaffordable for low income households to adequately heat their home. In fact, 2011 saw 4.5 million households in the UK living in fuel poverty. Temperature extremes are getting harder to manoeuvre around due to climate change and there has been a spike in the number of homes under pressure from weather and temperature. The cold is not only physiologically stressful, but the moisture produced by day-to-day activities (including showering, cooking and air-drying laundry) condenses on cold surfaces which eventually produces damp and mould.
The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 18 ֯c inside your home, 21 ֯c for those sheltering babies or elderly residents. If you are trying to save money by cutting your energy usage, we implore you to find another way to heat you home. Insulation is essential, especially at the top of your house since warmer air rises above the colder air. Insulation is a serious investment because the cost of buying and installing it will save money on energy in the long run. May we also suggest finding a home with an open fire, which will not only save energy costs but also add atmosphere to your home.
Damp and Mould…urgh…
As mentioned above, the cold is one of the factors in the growth of mould and damp in your home, but there are other reasons. One such example, is air pollution. A badly ventilated home will keep bacteria in your house – not every type of bacteria is harmful to humans, but the ones that are a threat like to really make themselves known. From damp and mould, occupants of a property could develop respiratory problems, allergies and even asthma. (Asthma sufferers are twice as likely to come from a house with mould than a house without.) Respiratory problems will escalate from discomfort with a tight chest to wheezing and trouble sleeping.
You should regularly ventilate your home. Open a window for half an hour every so often and let in some of the clean air from outside to push out the pollution, and clean mould off your walls. While cleaning it, use soapy water and a rag, making sure to wipe the mould rather than brushing it to avoid letting loose some spores. And remember to dry thoroughly afterwards, or you will have to start all over again in a months’ time.
You might not think it, but having too many residents in a property is a threat. The more people, the more activity there is to cause moisture and therefore damp and mould. It is for this reason that children living in a home with five or more residents is three times more likely that others to suffer respiratory problems. It has also been suggested that children living with five or more other residents suffer from slow growth which in turn increases the risk of heart disease as an adult. What’s more, stress will be a significant factor in a crowded home, as living with numerous other people will restrict space, privacy and patience.
We hope this has been helpful. Please take care of yourselves, and if you think your problems are bad enough to need a new location, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We would love to help you find a clean, safe home where you can start afresh.