Air quality is affected by the presence of mold, radon, and other toxins. If you would like to schedule an indoor air quality inspection or have questions, call us today at (800) 392-6468. We can put home gyms, TV or game rooms, and laundry facilities there, and use it for storage. Basements can be a paradise of space. Outside upgrades are the ideal correction given the way basement walls were left exposed in the past; however, unless you have serious structural problems or plan to excavate for … Ever open the washing machine and get a whiff of an awful stale scent? Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly called black mold, is linked to more serious symptoms, including chest tightness and difficulty breathing, a burning sensation in the nose and … Pneumonitis and Pulmonary Hemorrhage … The problem is most of us have no idea what is available to help transform the basement into that fantastic space. Exposure to those chemicals, also known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can lead to allergies and disorders of the central nervous system, and long-term exposure can result in chronic health problems. An independent testing company, like RTK Environmental, will conduct indoor air quality testing to determine if mold, asbestos, VOCs, radon, or other harmful toxins are present in your environment. This can damage your furniture and other artifacts stored inside the … Therefore, it is better to find out about how to handle the problem. Doing so may cause asthma, allergies, and a host of other ailments. Dust also can accumulate on stored items. Not every basement laundry area enjoys adequate dryer venting from the basement to the outdoors. Keep track of radon levels in your house by installing a couple of radon detectors. Those with allergies can suffer broader, more intense respiratory effects, including difficulty breathing and chest tightness. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. In fact, in about 80% of “sick building syndrome” cases, where poor air quality spreads, mold infestations (black mold and other types) are the main cause of illness. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air may be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. A bypass humidifier is one that uses the airflow created by your furnace or air handler to deliver moisture through your home. Basements are damp, which is precisely the environment in which mold thrives. The symptoms and health effects of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning cover a wide range of health problems… If a detector senses high levels of radon, the EPA suggests that you have your home treated by a radon remediation expert. Related: Sick House Syndrome: 7 Things You Need to Know Now. If you are working out in an environment that is full of dust and mold allergens, it can be particularly difficult to breathe.”, If you have not had an indoor air quality test, you should. Indoor air pollution can cause big health problems. Moisture tends to collect in boxes, making it easy for mold to grow. Be sure to leave the door open in between washes to allow air to circulate and dry out the machine. A space where you can look around and feel at home. Therefore, dust mites and vermin droppings can build up in neglected areas, like crawl spaces and behind the clothes dryer, and on fans used to keep you cool on exercise equipment. What you might not realize is that poor indoor air quality can turn your basement into a health hazard. Things like pesticides, old paint cans, and cleaning products, when stored inside, can cause harmful indoor air by emitting toxic VOCs. Keep your humidity levels below 50 percent. 1. Carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible and may not be noticed until occupants experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headache, dizziness, or loss of judgment. Some are listed below: Fiberglass: Often ignored, fiberglass insulation is another pollutant that very common in basements; it can be found... Crawlspaces: Crawlspaces are often so dank and … Thanks to something called the “stack effect”, the air in your basement … “What we don’t realize is that it’s all for nothing if the air we are breathing in is filling our bodies with toxins.”. Eliminate sources of dampness in basements, such as pipe leaks or groundwater seepage. Here are the most common things to watch out for: Mold is the leading cause of poor indoor air quality in basements and can have dire effects on your health. It is not uncommon for radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, to be found in basements. 3. The damp, stale air in the basement stays down there, right? In high-risk areas, radon has a tendency to seep through basement cracks. “More and more, our daily lives revolve around being healthy – eating well, physical activity, regular wellness checkups, organic food, non-toxic products, and more,” points out Weitz. Darkness and dampness are two things that mold and mildew thrive in, which are very common for an unfinished basement. You should be … Storing half-empty cans of chemical-laden mixtures can, however, introduce toxic substances into the air, because it's difficult to seal cans completely once opened. You can avoid breathing in the mold by staying away from any moldy matter or environment. Except…you’ve got to be sure it’s safe. Remember to clean the collection bucket and condensation coils regularly. The Dos and Don’ts of Waterproofing Basement Walls, 12 Finishing Touches for Your Unfinished Basement, Why Go Out? Basements have optimal conditions for the growth of mold and mildew. https://www.webmd.com/lung/breathing-problems-unusual-causes Open basement … Fuel-fired furnaces are expected fixtures in basements, but without proper care and maintenance, they can produce a deadly by-product of combustion, carbon monoxide. Many different conditions can cause breathing problems, including stress and anxiety. Solution: Check pipes, closets, … Wrong. If there’s only a mild sewer gas leak, the first step for treatment is to air out the house and call a plumber to come and inspect and fix the leak. To prevent health problems that come from exposure to sewage fumes, regularly flush basement floor drains with water. Chances are you’re breathing in lint, mites, dust, and other particles, and it’s not good for your health. 2. So, you may want to move your yoga mat upstairs before your downward dog brings you within inches of a health problem. Your self-built shelves that hold your treasures, like Grandma’s china and your kid’s artwork from nursery school, keep clutter out of your main living area. The dust, dander and other particulates that you bring into the basement with that sofa will aggravate allergies and asthma. To reduce mold growth in your home, consider these tips: 1. Shelve it elsewhere! At high concentrations, carbon monoxide can even lead to death. That’s mold and mildew. Sewer gases are most likely to enter your home through a dry basement floor drain: When the plumbing trap, which is designed to block gases, dries out, sewer gases will seep into the basement. Symptoms can include: If you get any of these symptoms, especially while in or after spending some time in your basement, you may have a serious indoor air quality problem. – A lack of ventilation downstairs makes exposures to these allergens worse than upstairs. Poor air circulation and inadequate ventilation may force us to breathe in toxins and chemicals, including lead dust, exhaust, radon, formaldehyde, asbestos, and VOCs from adhesives, upholstery, appliances, carpeting, manufactured wood products, machines, pesticides, cleaning agents and even personal care products. Some of these … It is common for people to experience respiratory problems such as allergies, asthma, sinus infections, and a runny nose. Related: The 10 Best Colors for a Brighter Basement. ... particleboard, and plywood paneling. You know you have mold when either see it forming on wood and in corners, or you smell the characteristic musty odor it gives off. In small quantities, radon doesn't present a health risk, but when it's concentrated in a closed environment like your basement, it's a different story. All great ideas. Related: 10 Shortcuts to a Not-So-Scary Basement. People can experience difficulty breathing for a wide range of reasons. When was the last time you washed your basement elliptical (with soap) or really dusted your treadmill? “Basements are often damp, and moisture and mold go hand-in-hand,” says Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and founder of RTK Environmental. Related: 10 Ways You're Accidentally Poisoning Your Home. Cleaning the washing machine frequently will help prevent odors as well. laundry area enjoys adequate dryer venting, The 10 Best Things You Can Buy for Your Laundry Room (for Under $50), 10 Ways You're Accidentally Poisoning Your Home, 7 Reasons Indoor Air Isn’t as Pure as You Think, The 10 Best Colors for a Brighter Basement, Sick House Syndrome: 7 Things You Need to Know Now. 29 Bank St,Stamford, CT 06901(203) 921-4144Directions, 333 Mamaroneck Ave,White Plains, NY 10605(914) 468-2473Directions, 338 Jericho Turnpike Suite 157,Syosset, NY 11791(516) 821-5310Directions, 1245 River Road #153,Fair Lawn, NJ 074101 800 392-6468Directions, 244 Madison Avenue #285,New York, NY 10016(212) 776-4312Directions, © All rights reserved RTK Environmental Group - Copyright 1995 - 2021 - Sitemap, Infants who are exposed to mold in their living environments have nearly a 3X greater risk of becoming asthmatic than those who did not have extensive mold exposure in their first year of life. This gas can then seep into the rest of the house, where it can create health problems and a dangerous risk of fire. Mold is the leading cause of poor indoor air quality in basements and can have dire effects … Because 90 percent of the land in the Northeast is likely to have elevated radon levels, every home should be tested for radon, an important part of indoor air quality tests. You may also want to see your physician to rule out any other possible medical conditions. Rather than running a vent pipe to the outside of the house, some homeowners opt to outfit the dryer with a device that catches lint and then recirculates warm air from the dryer throughout the basement. These health problems will continue until you learn how to remove mold from basement rooms and other areas in the home. Indoor Leaks Unseen leaks may be causing mold growth in your home, which can be problematic for people prone to asthma and allergically-induced breathing problems. Outdoor humidity. Basements are generally dirtier than the rest of our house because they are dusted and vacuumed less frequently. Basements are damp, which is precisely the environment in which mold thrives. It is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas produced when uranium naturally decays in soil and water, and it is hazardous to your health. Use an air conditioner, and consider installing central air conditioning with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter attachment. It can tell you if the air you are breathing is negatively affecting your health. Furnaces don’t even do a great … Mold thrives in damp environments and spreads easily. COVID-19: What you need to know. You’re probably breathing basement air. Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newsletter today! 2. People who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants for the longest periods are often those most at risk to the effects of indoor air pollution. Your basement doesn't have to be scary. Related: The Dos and Don'ts of Basement Storage. Here’s how to get relief and … Radon can then become trapped in a poorly ventilated basement, where it can threaten the health of occupants and potentially increase their risk of developing lung cancer. And, the next time you buy paint or varnish, choose low-VOC products to minimize your exposure to toxins. Breathing in mold spores can cause multiple problems, and the symptoms usually vary from one person to the next. Failure to clean your washer rigorously can result in the growth of fungi and bacteria that can cause lung inflammation. Symptoms include wheezing, or a high-pitched, musical sound with breathing, tightness in the chest and general difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Improved Health and Quality of Life – More than half the air you are breathing in your home comes from areas like the basement underneath your main living space. Breathing … With rugs serving as a haven for dirt, bacteria, and mold spores, you’ll probably never look at carpeting the same way again. 12 Bars You Can Build at Home. Continually damp carpet (may occur if carpet is installed on poorly ventilated floor). That means whatever is in your basement … Cockroaches have been linked to respiratory problems, and according to the EPA, certain proteins in cockroach droppings and saliva can cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma symptoms. A thorough environmental health inspection will tell you what the problem is, and how to alleviate the source of the issue. Every time you walk across that carpet, you may be releasing mold spores and unhealthy microorganisms into the air. Problems breathing can come on suddenly or last for weeks or longer. Most cases are due to heart or lung conditions, but there are many other causes. If you spend any time in your basement, have your dryer vented to the outdoors. If you are experiencing any of the health symptoms we’ve listed after you’ve been in the basement for a while, or if you just want to be sure you are not harboring toxic material, have your indoor air quality tested. They also cause breathing problems, headaches, stuffiness, and infections, Nolen says. Typical health symptoms associated with the inhalation of mold spores include a runny nose, excessive sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, or dry, itchy skin. Mold To reduce the risk of mold, use a dehumidifier, seal cracks in the foundation, and replace carpeting with tile, vinyl, or another appropriate hard flooring. And vacuumed less frequently than upstairs turn your basement article, we look at causes symptoms..., stale air in the manner described by our Privacy Policy air your breathing it ’ safe... At home ventilation downstairs makes exposures to these allergens worse than upstairs and dampness are two Things mold. 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