How Is The Air Quality In Your Basement?
Basements can be a wonderful place. We can put in a home theater, a game room, a place to put boys in to run and destroy things, and a place for storage. All great ideas...as long as it's safe. Poor indoor air quality can turn your basement into a health hazard.
Basements are often damp, and moisture and mold go hand-in-hand. Mold and poor indoor air quality can trigger allergies that can cause cold and flu-like symptoms.
If you haven't had an indoor air quality test, you should! It can tell you if the air you're breathing is negatively impacting your health. More and more our daily lives revolve around being healthy...eating well, being physically active...but it's all for nothing if the air we're breathing in is creating more problems.
Some things to look for in your basement:
Mold - the leading cause of poor indoor air quality in basements. About 80% of sick-building syndrome cases are due to mold infestations.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - indoor air can be 2-5x more polluted than outdoor air. Because the air in your basement tends to be stagnant in can breed unhealthy conditions. Poor circulation and inadequate ventilation in a basement needs to be addressed to help rid the area of pollutants from adhesives, upholstery, paints, manufactured wood products, cleaning agents and even personal care items.
Gym Equipment - if you can't remember the last time you gave your basement home gym a good cleaning, listen up...basements are generally dirtier than the rest of the house because they're vacuumed and dusted less frequently. As you breathe heavier on the treadmill, you're breathing in particles at a faster rate. Wash your gym equipment regularly!
Entertaining - if dad's eating a sandwich or chips while watching the game or the kids are snacking on popcorn while playing video games there's likely going to be some crumbs that end up on the floor and under furniture. That in turn can be attracting pests like rodents and insects.
Stored Items - moisture can collect in boxes (especially if they're stacked too close to a wall to allow for proper air flow around them) and can allow mold to grow. Dust can accumulate on items that don't get used often. Items like pesticides, old paint cans and cleaning products, when stored inside, can create harmful indoor air by emitting VOCs.