Creating a healthy home environment may start with hygienic practices, but it certainly doesn’t stop with wiping down sinks or running the Roomba twice a week. Instituting a truly spotless house takes a little more time and effort. And that can be tough for some families, especially if you’re among the 80% of folks who can’t agree on housework responsibilities with your domestic partner or roomies.
Nevertheless, creating a healthy home environment doesn’t have to be hard. Plus, you don’t have to scour all your surfaces daily. You just have to make a plan that allows you to systematically tackle different areas of your residence to ensure that everything stays sanitized and safe for the long haul.
Prevent Mold by Reducing Moisture
Mold and mildew don’t just smell terrible. They can also lead to mild or even serious health problems including asthma attacks, allergic reactions, headaches, respiratory issues, stuffiness, and watery eyes. Plus, mold can cause widespread property damage in the form of rotting wood, discolored walls and ceilings, and ruined furniture. For that reason, you’ll want to do your best to give mold spores no reason to make your home their home.
In order to reduce the likelihood of mold development, keep your house’s humidity levels below 50-60%. Without enough moisture in the air, mold won’t be able to take breed. Be especially conscientious about your mold reduction and mold damage prevention methods in high-humidity spots like damp basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. If necessary, invest in an energy-efficient dehumidifier to remove water droplets from the air effectively and affordably.
What should you do if you notice mold? First, get help from a professional right away. Although you might want to attack the moldy spot with a bleach concentrate, you can’t necessarily tackle it all. Remember that the mold you can’t see could be extensive. It’s better to hire a mold remediation pro immediately rather than find out that you allowed your mold problem to get worse through inaction.
Invest in Professional Carpet Cleaning
Yes, it’s great to run your vacuum regularly as part of your process for creating a healthy home environment. Still, a standard vacuum’s not strong enough to completely pull up all the dirt and debris hiding in your carpets’ fibers.
Your carpeting filters tons of airborne particles throughout the day. Over time, those particles become ground into the carpet, ending up near the base. Even if you buy a powerful at-home vacuum, you won’t be able to fully lift all that yucky stuff from the carpet pile.
While you might not love the thought of paying a professional to come into your home and engage in some intense carpet cleaning, it’s a must if you’re serious about creating a healthy home environment. It doesn’t matter if your carpets are plush and lush or firm and tight-looped, either. All types of carpeting can use some serious debris extraction. Take heart, though: You don’t have to spend a bundle. Many carpet cleaners offer attractive coupons and seasonal discounts. Look for sales and take advantage of multi-room offers.
What could happen if you neglect your carpets and just keep vacuuming without ever working with an expert? As you might suspect, you’ll end up paying more in the end. In general, the lifespan of most residential carpeting is around five to 10 years depending on the quality. The less often you professionally clean it, the fewer years you’ll get out of your original investment. And that just doesn’t make sense for your home or wallet.
Keep the Plumbing Running
When your plumbing is running smoothly, you probably don’t think about it. However, you should immediately address any plumbing problems. Otherwise, they can build up and end up costing you a bundle. Plus, remember that a leak can lead to mold, which is a huge health concern.
What types of plumbing issues do you need to consider when creating a healthy home environment? First, check all your indoor and outdoor faucets and spigots routinely. Do you notice any leaks? A minor drip may not seem like a big deal, but it is. You may be able to remedy it yourself after making a trip to the home improvement store and watching a great how-to video on YouTube.
On the other hand, a slow drain may need a technician’s special touch and equipment. Tempted to pour chemicals down your pipes because you need drain cleaning repairs? Not so fast. Those harsh toxins often don’t work, and they may begin to erode your plumbing. Additionally, store-purchased liquid plumbing solvents can leave chemical burns on your skin.
Above all else, pay attention to changes in your plumbing. Running toilet? Boiler making an unusual noise? Knocking sounds coming from pipes in the walls? Turn to a plumbing provider in your area rather than turning away.
Perform a Deep Clean Every Now and Again
On the most basic level, creating a healthy home environment involves staying up to date with all those regular and nagging chores. You toss dirty sheets into the laundry, sweep the dust bunnies from under the bed, and scrub the bathroom floor when it starts to get dirty. Nonetheless, sometimes you need to go farther and perform a deep clean.
What’s a deep clean? Think of it as spring cleaning at any time of the year. It’s when you tackle all those cleaning tasks that you normally avoid, like removing all the food from the refrigerator so you can thoroughly scrub it inside and outside. In other words, deep cleans help you remove lingering debris that’s left behind when you’re doing your simplified daily or weekly cleaning routine.
If it seems like a deep clean will take too long or be too difficult for you to complete on your own, call in help. Sure, you can ask your partner, roommates, or family members to join in. You can also hire expert cleaning services to assist. Expert cleaners may be able to more comfortably move furnishings or even assist you in tossing junk.
Replace Outdated or Damaged Flooring
Over time, all flooring will eventually start to show wear and tear. Sometimes, it happens quickly, as in the case of carpet that your cat decides to scratch. Other times, your flooring could stay like-new for years. But when it’s done, it’s time to visit a custom flooring facility to talk about replacing it.
How does giving your flooring a facelift connect with creating a healthy home environment? Damaged, destroyed, filthy, or torn flooring is more than an eyesore. It’s also a health issue. Dirt that won’t come up, even after deep cleaning, continues to pollute your indoor air. And indoor air quality should be an important goal when creating a healthy home environment.
Similarly, floors that are wearing thin, have holes, or are coming up or apart in places can be tripping hazards. The last thing you want to happen is a family member or visitor falling because your flooring isn’t up to par.
How much can you expect to spend on flooring? You might be surprised. Many flooring providers sell and install remnants for incredibly competitive prices. Even if you go with a custom floor choice, you may be able to get a discount if you order flooring for several areas in your residence at once.
Create a Safer Kitchen
Health isn’t limited to eliminating filth on your countertops. It also involves safety and security, particularly in your kitchen. After all, the kitchen environment contains many electrical appliances. To protect you and your family, make sure those appliances are properly connected, not likely to start a fire, and kept away from water.
Additionally, you’ll want to store all sharp utensils properly. Even if everyone in your household is an adult, you still want to keep your knives in a separate container from spoons and forks. Even a slightly dull steak knife can leave a nasty cut.
How else can you make sure your kitchen is in tiptop healthy shape? Opt to clean it with environmentally friendly products. The greener the cleaning solutions you use, the less likely you’ll be to have chemicals lingering around your foods and ingredients. Speaking of green, you might want to consider adding a small herb garden to your kitchen space. It’s not just pretty and useful, but will help keep the air cleaner, too.
Invest in Ample Storage
We’ve all seen examples of cluttered properties that are filled with boxes, bags, and more from floor to ceiling. If you’re trying to get out from under a boatload of clutter, invest in some storage. You don’t have to go out and rent a storage unit, either. You probably have more storage options than you think throughout your home, even if it’s cozy.
What are some practical storage options that will help as you’re creating a healthy home environment? Use the upper areas of closets to keep smaller boxes on shelves. Under the bed is the perfect place for out-of-season apparel and footwear. And are you really making the most of your pantry? The inside of a door can be a wonderful place for the storage of small, flat items. Consider installing an over-the-door spice rack or rack specially made for storing lids.
Take a bit of time and check out all the places in your residence where you have more storage than you thought. If possible, consider embarking on a cabinet installation project in your laundry room, bedroom, or bathroom. You’ll be amazed at how much simpler it is to declutter your living spaces when you have a bit more storage.
Seal Your Garage Floors
Are your garage floors just about as dirty as you could imagine? Although it’s tough to keep garage floors clean and shiny, you do have some solutions at your disposal, including epoxy flooring.
Adding a layer of epoxy to your garage floor will make cleaning it so much easier. Epoxy floors resist staining and smudging, so all you need is a mop and a little cleaner. Plus, the epoxy will help seal up little cracks and holes that might be attractive to moisture, insects, and grime.
You can even put down epoxy flooring yourself if you’d like. On the other hand, it’s great to bring in experts so you can focus on other ways for creating a healthy home environment.
Repair Cracks in Pavement
Notice a lot of cracks in the pavement on and around your property? They’re not just unsightly. They’re also hurting the health of your home. How? Each one of those cracks is a tripping hazard waiting to happen. And unlevel concrete can pour water toward the foundation of your home instead of away from it during rainstorms.
Cracks happen for a wide variety of reasons, including seasonal temperature changes in the soil and when tree roots push up from underneath. Depending on the location of the crack, such as along a privately owned sidewalk, you may be in violation of local ordinances if you don’t fix it within a specific timeframe.
Unless you have experience with crack repair, hire paving contractors to help you with this job. You’ll love the way the finished product looks, and you’ll stop worrying that someone will take a tumble.
Build an Accessible Home
Aging in place is an objective for many individuals and couples who don’t want to sell their homes. Yet as people get older, they sometimes need a little help getting around. If you’re creating a healthy home environment for someone who’s determined to stay out of assisted living facilities as long as possible, check out home remodeling possibilities like adding wheelchair ramps or installing a chair lift so everyone can get safely to the second floor.
Want to make subtle changes instead of larger ones as part of your accessibility venture? Add a bar to your bathtub to make getting in and out easier. Or, change the doorknobs to make them less difficult to turn for someone who has limited dexterity due to advancing arthritis. Over time, you can always add other accessible features to the property as-needed, improving its curb appeal for future buyers interested in investing in accessible real estate.
Creating a healthy home environment won’t happen overnight, but it will definitely happen if you take a few steps in the right direction. Before you know it, your house will be a safe, spotless place to live, work, entertain, and relax.