Your home is what protects you from the elements, keeping us warm against the cold and keeping us dry when it rains. However, your home harbours a dark secret – it could be making you ill or even prolonging your illnesses. There are hidden horrors around the home that can be easily dealt with but quickly build up if left unchecked. Keep an eye out for these potential harms around your home;

In the Bedroom

Starting in one of the most important rooms of the home, the bedroom – you may be thinking how your comfortable overnight haven could possibly cause you harm however look a bit closer and you’ll be surprised.

Bed Sheets and Pillow Cases – We are constantly renewing our skin cells and that causes a lot of waste in dead skin cells that build up in your bed. This dead skin is considered a delicacy to the common dust mite – which is invisible to the naked eye – but lives in their thousands (if not millions) around your house. A two-year-old pillow can be made up of at least 10% dead dust mites and their waste which can aggravate eczema and asthma and cause you to sneeze more.

To combat the dust mites, wash your bedding weekly on a hot wash of at least 40 degrees C and replace pillows and bedding regularly; it’s recommended to change pillows every two years and duvets every five. Avoiding making your bed is also a good way to reduce the number of dust mites, these pests need to take in water to survive and by leaving your bed unmade, moisture is removed from your bedding and dehydrates the mites.

In the Bathroom

The bathroom may be the room in your home you use to get clean, but your bathroom can be the harbourer of some scary substances. Luckily, regular cleaning will help you stay safe from nasty bacteria and germs.

Shower Curtain & Bath Mats – Your shower curtain and bath mats can be places where mould, bacteria and mites gather and should be cleaned regularly so to prevent build up. Mats can be thrown in the washing machine alongside towels on a hot wash and dried thoroughly before use. While shower curtains can be rinsed with a half-part laundry detergent – half-part baking soda – one-part vinegar mixture to remove the health-offending substances.

Mould – Mould can build up in places around your bathroom and also appear in your kitchen, it is encouraged by poor ventilation in rooms and moist environments. Not only do the mould spores exaggerate allergic reactions but can release toxins in the air which can lead to respiratory problems and even weakened immune systems. If left unchecked, damp and mould can rapidly spread, leading to greater problems, like structural decay and dry-rot, which will need to be treated by a damp proofing professional. Click here for more information on dry-rot and the potential causes and treatments.

In the Kitchen

The kitchen is home to several obvious hazards, from hot appliances such as the cooker and hob to sharp objects like knives and kitchen tools. Just like your other rooms though, your kitchen has some nasty secrets to hide.

Fridge – Your fridge is somewhere to keep food from spoiling however can also be the hidden location for nasty bacteria including E.Coli and Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning, bad stomach pains and worse. Deep clean your fridge regularly using a vinegar-water mixture to sweep away these nasties and keep your family safe.

Gas Appliances – Gas appliances, such as your oven and boiler (if stored in the kitchen) need to undergo yearly maintenance to ensure they are safe for use. Gas appliances that do not get checked regularly can lead to an inefficient operation which not only will cost you more on your energy bills but can lead to a deadly Carbon Monoxide build up, leading to sickness and in a worst-case scenario, be fatal. Make sure your gas appliances are checked yearly by a gas registered engineer and keep a sound-emitting CO alarm in the same room.

By keeping on top of household tasks, you can ensure your home stays safe for yourself and any family and friends you invite round. Don’t forget to wash anything that could harbour bacteria at 40 degrees C and ensure rooms stay ventilated to prevent moisture build-up. A clean home is a happy home and a home that keeps you healthy, not just warm and dry!