Green Real Estate: Indoor air quality
As temperatures drop and the autumn leaves begin to blanket the earth we collectively embark on our migration to the warmth, comfort and protection of our indoor spaces.
According to Health Canada, we spend about 90 per cent of our time indoors at home, at work or in recreational settings such as shopping malls, restaurants and gyms. We often talk about outdoor air quality and pollution but what do we know about indoor air quality?
Given that fall is the prime time for sealing up our homes in an effort to make them more energy efficient, a look at the health of our indoor air is fitting.
Mould lives in damp environments. It might look like a stain and appear in different colours. Sometimes, though, mould is not apparent and instead there is a musty smell. High concentrations of mould spores inside your house can lead to adverse health effects such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
If the amount of mould isn’t too large, consider fixing the problem yourself. Health Canada recommends using water and dish detergent. Bleach isn’t necessary. Once that’s done, you’ll need to address the cause. There are other ways to prevent mould growth such as ensuring that your clothes dryer hose is properly vented outdoors or by repairing basement, roof and pipe leaks immediately.
Radon, which is a radioactive gas created in nature, is often found in basements and crawl spaces, where there is poor ventilation. These locations also tend to be closer to the source of radon, which is created by decaying uranium found in soil, rock and water. Radon can enter a house through cracks in the foundation or gaps around pipes. Because radon is invisible, odourless and has no taste, the only way to know for sure if you have it is to do a DIY test or call in a professional.
Source: REM Real Estate Magazine
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