More people are suffering from allergies these days. It isn’t just a coincidence. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of people with allergies is two to five times higher than it was 30 years ago. And the NIH has found the reason is in our homes.
Newer homes are built for energy efficiency. They are sealed and built as air tight as possible. While today’s homes are more energy efficient, they are also linked to poor indoor air quality.
Tighter homes have two inherent problems when it comes to healthy air: they limit the fresh air that comes in; and trap excess humidity, pollutants and allergens inside.
However, there are ways to better the situation. Here are two areas you can control:
Control Moisture Levels
The major contributor to poor indoor air quality is moisture. In my research and experience working to help create healthier, drier homes, I have found the ideal indoor humidity level strooming blog is 50 percent. Just like too much moisture can cause mold spores and dust mites, air that is too dry can cause dry skin, static electricity and more airborne particles.
Humidification systems can help regulate the indoor humidity levels. Although, before the humidification system can work properly, (and not cost too much to operate) it is best to address water problems in your basement and crawlspace. A lingering foundation crack which leaks water is a good example. In addition, open voids in the cove (where the foundation wall meets the floor), cracks in the floor or an open, unsealed crawl space may contribute to harmful soil gases entering the home. Problems in the basement will affect the rest of the house. Contaminated air is pulled from the basement or crawlspace into the upper levels of the house through stack effect. Stack effect is another result of tighter more efficient homes.
The most serious problems involving basements and crawl spaces are not always obvious problems easily seen. Homeowners are best served to have their basements or crawl spaces inspected by a reputable basement waterproofing contractor – someone who can identify the obvious and not so obvious problems.