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The Air in Your Home is Making You Sick

Most of us are aware of the pollutants outside of our home but we often don't realize that the air we breathe inside our home could be just as bad if not worse for our health. Real Simple Magazine covered this topic in their October Issue. The magazine encourages its readers to vacuum their carpets often in order to have cleaner air indoors which leads to healthier lungs, better quality sleep, and fewer sick days among many other things.

How could indoor air quality effect so much? Richard Shaughnessy, Ph.D., the program director of indoor air research at the University of Tulsa reminds us that, "We spend about 93 percent of our lives indoors, another 5 percent in transit, and only 2 percent outdoors." The article continues to say that, "As we weatherize our homes for energy-efficiency, less air can float in and out of our spaces. The result: Irritants (like dust and mold) and airborne chemicals (like lead, toluene, and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) are trapped inside with us, and we breathe them in."

"Overall, the air indoors can be more polluted than the air outdoors by a factor of two", says Elizabeth Matsui, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, in Baltimore, and the chair of the Environmental Exposures and Respiratory Health Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

40% of our indoor air comes directly from the basement or crawlspace. This is known as the stack effect, where warm air rises or moves upward into our homes. Have you looked in your basement or crawlspace lately?

While we have learned that keeping a tidy home, vacuuming and dusting often can help with air quality, having your crawlspace encapsulated could increase your air quality significantly more. With an encapsulated crawlspace you prevent mold and mildew which cause a stuffy nose, irritated eyes, and wheezing or skin irritation in those who are sensitive to them. Mold grows where there is moisture, the only effective way to control mold is to control moisture.