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  4. 4 Ways Home Wear and Tear Affects Indoor Air Quality
  • How Home Wear and Tear Affects Indoor Air Quality

    Some household damage is inevitable. Here’s what you should keep an eye out for to help prevent bigger issues later.

    Mother and daughter braiding hair. Learn how normal home wear and tear can impact your indoor air quality.

    It’s totally normal for pieces of your home to gradually deteriorate over time, simply by living in and using the space. Unfortunately, some wear and tear can pose risk to indoor air quality if not addressed swiftly. Here, we break down common wear and tear homeowners can expect, the potential impact on indoor air quality and offer solutions to remedy each issue.

    A Leaky Roof

    Drip. Drip. Drip. That dreaded sound likely indicates a leak. Hopefully it’s just a faucet that wasn’t fully turned off. However, if you discover the leak is coming from the ceiling, it’s best to call a professional roofer right away. When a leak lingers and moisture builds, the opportunity for mold growth increases.

    While you wait for the professionals to arrive, try to contain the leak by placing a pot or bucket close to the source of the leak (like in the attic, for example).

    Loose Bathroom Grout

    If you notice loose tiles or cracked grout lines, the grout in your bathroom may be loose. Grout helps create an important barrier between the inside of the tiles and any moisture. When grout is loose or cracked, moisture can seep through and get behind the tiles, creating ideal conditions for mold growth.

    Luckily, re-grouting is rather simple and requires removing the old grout, mixing the new grout, spreading the new grout and removing any excess grout. We should mention that it is recommended to have a rotary saw handy to help remove the grout. If this doesn’t sound like something you want to tackle on your own, professionals can tackle the job quickly.

    Wall Cracks

    It’s normal for a house to “settle” as the framework and foundation slightly shift. The reasons vary (think materials and climate), but it’s common for minor cracks to appear.

    Proceed with patching those small cracks, but if you notice any large horizontal or diagonal cracks, sticking windows and doors, or other unusual wear and tear, contact a professional right away—these may indicate foundation issues.

    A Blocked Chimney

    A blockage in the chimney can severely impact your indoor air quality, as the smoke may not be able to escape through the flue and instead wind up in your home. What’s causing the blockage can range from nesting materials brought in by birds to small branches and leaves.

    While clearing a blocked chimney can be done by yourself if you have the right protective gear, cleaning brushes and a ladder, consider hiring a professional if you’re not confident in your own abilities.

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