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How Your Home is Making You Sick

We have been doing more home cleaning and disinfection than we used to, thanks to this pandemic, and probably more extensively than we used to. But why do some of us get sick, or even more sickly, by just staying at home? Aside from possible lack of Vitamin D because we hardly go out anymore to get some sunshine, our house can be one of the reasons why we get sick.

It can be a surprise to some of us and you may be saying “I’ve been living here just fine for several years already, it was just recently that I have been sick. I have been doing a lot of home cleaning, It can’t be my home”. Chances are, your doctor will lay out all the factors that could be causing your illness, the food you eat or the environment you should avoid, but never include the state of your home.

To fast track your grief from denial to acceptance that your home is possibly making you ill, we can check out the symptoms of your home that really make you sick.

Need something cleaned?

  • Poor ventilation
  • Spaces that you cannot or hardly ever clean
  • Old wooden structures
  • Outdated Foam (Beds and Sofa)
  • Wear and Tear (Natural and from Home Cleaning)
Home Cleaning

Poor Ventilation

Can you still smell your lunch earlier? Are you addicted to using Air Freshener? Does any scent (good or bad) linger in your room for hours? Chances are, you have poor ventilation at home. Simply put, you breathe the same air the whole day and they are not replaced by fresh ones from either outside or from a purified source.

Having no windows or vents does not mean bad air cannot go in, it just means the dirt you bring in or the toxic chemicals you produce does not have a way of going out. One of the most common air pollutants we create is smoke from cooking and incomplete combustion of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG).

How do they harm you?

Poor ventilation keeps bacteria, fungi and viruses within our spaces longer than they should. They should be just “passing through” but since there are no exits, they tend to stay and do their thing – multiply and infect. At the same time, the buildup of Carbon Dioxide from your respiration, metabolic by products of bacteria and fungi, and cooking within your space becomes poisonous to you.

How to fix this?

We have access to online shopping and appliance stores where we can buy air purifiers. Investing in a good one that can filter out particles, smoke and chemicals can greatly help in the ventilation of your place. Growing a couple of indoor plants, just a few not too much, can help in filtering gases within your home.

We make a huge portion of the pollution we get in our home. Our home can make us sick, but partly, we make ourselves sick by not being aware of the toxic substances we make.

Air Purifier Effective Office Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Air Purifier sold in Lazada

Spaces You Hardly Clean

We love to see our home neat and clean, that’s a fact, so we cover anything unsightly that we cannot remove. This causes spaces to become difficult to reach, and ultimately, difficult to clean during home general cleaning. These spaces become breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi that can make you sick. Example of these spaces are:

  • Back of the refrigerator
  • Ceiling
  • Sink cabinets
  • Bottom of racks and shelves
  • Bottom of bed frames
  • Bottom of the dining table

Honestly, when was the last time you cleaned these spaces? How frequent do we clean these spaces? It’s probably rare that we turn our bed frames and dining tables upside down to clean the bottom. Occasionally we do clean the kitchen sink cabinet maybe.

How do they harm you?

Covered spaces accumulate dust faster than exposed surfaces. The dust in our homes contains an average of 9,000 different species of microbes, a study suggests. Dark and covered surfaces that are humid as well can be the perfect spot for fungi to live in. As soon as air circulates around these surfaces, they will carry those microorganisms elsewhere, including the air you breathe and on the food you eat.

How to fix this?

Clean these surfaces at least twice (2 times) within a month. Moving the furniture, appliance or cover from time to time and cleaning them helps curb the amount of dust and fungi growth. This also ensures that they are dry as well.

Kitchen Cleaning - Home Cleaning

The kitchen is filled with spaces that we hardly clean. This is the best place to clean first.

Old Wooden Structures

We have been using wood for home construction for thousands of years already. It is strong, you can create thousands of stuff out of it, and it is cheaper in weight compared to metal. We use it for our ceiling, walls and furniture. The drawback is that when not treated well, it can be a host to insects, bacteria and fungi. During home cleaning, some of the water we use get in between them and may cause water logging.

How do they harm you?

Untreated and poorly maintained wood can bring in insects like termites which breakdown the wood and cause respiratory problems. Apart from that, it can host common molds at home, especially when you live in a humid climate. These molds can cause a variety of illnesses including neurological problems and even pulmonary bleeding in young children, trigger eye and skin infections.

How to fix this?

Inspect all parts of your home made out of wood and check if they are waterlogged (like the ceiling of your bathroom). You easily spot affected wood when you see discolorations on it. Those marks are not from water but from the buildup of molds already. Have a professional carpenter replace those sections immediately. Ensure that your home is well ventilated to keep humidity at a minimum. Remove or limit indoor plants and fix leaks. There are other natural ways to dehumidify your home.

Floor Polishing - Home Cleaning

Wooden floors can be home to bacteria and fungi as well.

Outdated Foam in Beds and Sofa

Contrary to popular belief, bed mattresses and sofa cushions have an expiry date of five to ten years. They were not invented to outlive you, nor made more durable to withstand other activities other than sleeping or sitting on them.

How do they harm you?

Old mattresses and sofa do not offer the same comfort compared to when they were newly bought. Tell tale signs include body aches, a feeling of tiredness, restlessness in the night and sagging spots in the mattress. Old sofas and couches tend to bend your posture as well. These lead to poor sleep and bad posture which takes a toll on your health.

Apart from the discomfort, your mattress can be a haven for bacteria and fungi. Moisture can come from humidity and your own sweat, and with the absence of sunlight, it is the perfect breeding ground for them.

How to fix this?

After such time, you need to replace your bed mattresses or reupholster sofas and couches. For the first few years you can have your bed, sofa and chairs shampooed at least every three months. As a regular maintenance, having it aired out and under the sun twice a week would also be great.

Sofa Shampoo - Home Cleaning

An old sofa is not classic, it is toxic.

Wear and Tear from Natural Means and from Home Cleaning

The changing weather and season contributes to the wear and tear of your home and cleaning your home adds more to that. How? By scrubbing too much and using too much bleach. Your paint on the wall is not as thick as you think it is as well, so scrubbing it can expose the concrete which is porous.

How do they harm you?

Bleach will leave your bathroom tiles sparkling clean, but if mold is an issue bleach could actually make it worse. Bleach gets rid of mold in tile grout, but it’s very caustic and grout is permeable, so it actually eats away at grout over time and makes tiny holes for more mold to grow. Anything that has holes, whether small or large, can be a place of standing water (moisture) which makes it a good breeding ground of bacteria and molds.

How to fix this?

When cleaning, use strong multi-purpose cleaners instead of pure bleach. These are chemicals that contain a little bit of bleach and a little bit of other powerful stuff. Just make sure to soak your bathroom tiles for at least five minutes before brushing or rinsing it. Exposed concrete and hard to remove stains on walls can be fixed by professional wall repainting.

Wall Repainting - Home Cleaning

It is kind of scary thinking how your own home can make you sick. You haven’t even heard of a bread that made an entire island hallucinate. Yes, it was also caused by a mold that is still present up to this day. There are numerous factors that we can get sick, but there are numerous ways we can prevent them. Thankfully, the measures in preventing COVID-19 are already pretty basic when it comes to disease prevention. We just need to update other stuff at home to ensure we don’t get other diseases apart from the coronavirus.

Mopping - Home Cleaning

Do you want to learn more on how CMDA Cleaning Services can help you, your family, or your office fight against COVID-19?

Send us an email at inquiry@cmdacleaning.com, or call/text us on any number mentioned above.

Let’s all be well and healthy, wear a face mask, wash our hands frequently, maintain a 1-2 meter physical distance to non-family members, and stay at home if we can. Stay covid-free!