With Winter fast approaching, Toronto homeowners are getting ready to “seal” their homes off from the cold weather. While sealing your home from a sometimes-harsh Canadian winter keeps you warm, it also means that you are sealing in your “indoor” air. With Covid-19 case back on the rise, we want everyone to be safe, so please remember to open up your windows and consistently let in some fresh air.
Many people aren’t aware of this, but indoor air pollutants cause more damage than outdoor ones. While most air pollutants in the home come from household products; organic matter called bioaerosols can also cause damage.
What are Bioaerosols?
Bioaerosols are airborne contaminants that can cause a variety of respiratory issues when inhaled. Common examples of this, are; pollen, viruses, bacteria, and mould spores. Frequent contamination can lead to allergic reactions, infections, or chronic respiratory difficulties.
Some studies suggest that Canadians are more likely to get a cold (or other ailments) throughout the winter because we decrease our time breathing fresh air while spending more time breathing in our indoor air (everything floating around our home).
What are the Symptoms of breathing-in too many antigens?
Early signs of breathing in too many antigens and/or allergens include coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, tight chest, dry sinuses, and more.
Sufferers can develop a condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis as a response to repeated/ constant infections. If left untreated, this can lead to more serious conditions, including asthma.
Where to Look for Bioaerosols
Bacteria, mould, mildew, and dust mites are all bioaerosols that thrive in moderate to high humidity and warm ambient temperatures. This is why they develop in humidifier reservoirs, dehumidifier drip pans, toilets, showers, and ice-making machines.
Bioaerosols also appear from damp/ wet ceiling panels, walls, and carpets. When disturbed, they release tiny spores into the air, which will travel throughout your home.
How Do I know I have Bioaerosols in my home?
You will know there are bioaerosols in your home by either having an allergic reaction or spotting stains on your walls, ceilings, or floors.
What Should I Do if I Detect Mould?
Mould is a surprisingly common occurrence in modern homes. Some people overlook it, some pretend it’s not there, while others spend a lifetime trying to get rid of it. The truth is that the environment must change or else it will just continue moving around.
Buy a hygrometer at a garden store to gauge the temperature and humidity level in your home
Compare your home with others in your area. Is it warmer with a higher humidity factor?
Do you make the problem worse by hanging damp clothing up indoors, or bathing or showering frequently?
Does your basement, or attic feel damp when you enter? Touch the walls, rest your hand on the floor, and look for dripping pipes.
What are you doing to vent the moisture? How often do you open the windows during winter?
If you discover a severe mould infestation, consider calling in a mould removal company. If your foundation/basement walls and floors are suffering from chronic mould issues, consider calling a waterproofing and foundation repair company to solidify your subgrade walls (Water may be seeping through your foundation).
Aim to keep the humidity in your home below 50%. Experiment by opening windows, venting the clothes drier, taking cooler showers, and venting your bathroom.
Nusite Contractors Ltd. has been proudly serving GTA homeowners for over 30 years! We are a family business and take pride in customer service and professional work. You can contact us here to schedule a free consultation and written estimate! We would be happy to help!
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