Have you been feeling under the weather whenever you spend a lot of time at home? Perhaps you have cold symptoms that just won't go away, or maybe a dull headache plagues you. If your doctor has ruled out possible medical causes, then there's a good chance your symptoms can be blamed on sick building syndrome. This is a condition in which irritating substances, which can include dust, mold spores, and even pollen, build up in your home, leading to a wide array of symptoms in its residents.
If you believe your home might be a victim of sick building syndrome, here are some steps you can take to cure it.
Have your ducts cleaned.
The irritating particles often build up in the ductwork of a home. Each time the heat or air conditioning is turned on, they are spewed through the air and inhaled. A professional who offers heating and cooling services can remove this buildup. After the cleaning, make sure you also replace the air filter in your HVAC system. (Your owner's manual will show you where it is located.) A dirty filter is another common contributor to sick building syndrome.
Have your home checked for mold.
Even if you do not see mold anywhere, it may be hiding in your walls and contributing to your symptoms. Invest in a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels under control, which should help prevent mold growth. Also, have a professional come in to test your house for mold. If mold is found, they can talk with you about options for clearing the mold and rehabilitating your space.
Have your carpets professionally cleaned.
Carpets can hold on to all sorts of particles – and sometimes vacuuming just stirs them up into the air and makes matters a lot worse. Having your carpet professionally cleaned will help eliminate more of these particles. Make sure you work with a carpet cleaning professional who uses natural cleaning solutions, since some may leave chemical residues that make sick building syndrome worse, rather than better. Having your upholstered furniture cleaned is also a good idea since, like carpet, it can hold onto irritating particles. Many carpet cleaning companies also offer upholstery cleaning services.
If you think your home may be "sick" do not hesitate to take action. Continuing to live in an environment that is making you ill is neither wise nor responsible, and matters are only likely to get worse if you don't follow the advice above to rid your home of irritants.