Since I began writing this blog, I have tried to present knowledge, most acquired from the very best and brightest in residential and commercial real estate, to help you invest “well” – to stay away from the pitfalls, lures and general untenable promises and claims. This post focuses on new research to help you keep your real estate – and its inhabitants – living “well.”
According to new research from the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), the majority of U.S. families (67%) live in a home with at least one major health risk. In response to the new research, NCHH is promoting the Seven Principles of Healthy Housing as a guideline to help create healthier real estate environments. The seven principles include keeping homes dry, clean, ventilated, contaminant-free, pest-free, safe, and maintained.
Principle 1: Dry
Damp homes provide a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, rodents and molds, all of which are associated with asthma. To keep the home dry, NCHH recommends the following:
- Place dehumidifiers in basements and other damp spaces to remove excess moisture.
- Repair downspouts to drain water away from the foundation and prevent moisture intrusion.
- Place a water alarm near the sump pump or hot water heater to notify of flooding or water leaks.
- Work with a drywall professional to repair any water damage to reduce mold growth and maintain structural soundness.
Principle 2: Clean
Clean homes help reduce pest infestations and exposure to contaminants. NCHH offers the following tips to help keep the home clean:
- Place a mat on the inside and outside of every door that leads to the outside.
- Purchase and clean with non-toxic cleaning supplies.
- Clean up dust to eliminate contaminants such as lead dust, allergens, and chemical residues. Pay particular attention to cleaning refrigerator drip pans and range hoods.
Principle 3: Ventilated
Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in a home improves respiratory health. To keep the home ventilated:
- Install exhaust fans in bathrooms and over the range in the kitchen and vent them to the outside.
- Vent dryers to the outside to reduce moisture build up.