Here is some of the simplest advice we’ll ever be able to give you: keep your home clean! If you’re concerned about the air you breathe while you’re inside your home, it’s best to become a neat freak, of sorts. Dust, vacuum, mop, wipe – all of these practices will help you to breathe a little easier.
We admit, however, that being neat and tidy is a lot easier for some than others. Hoarders, of course, are the exact opposite of neat freaks. And to be fair, it’s important to understand that individuals who hoard are generally considered to have mental and emotional hardships. They feel the need to hold on to often-useless items for sentimental value. And, unfortunately, the practice of hoarding can bring about very serious health issues.
No home inhabited by a hoarder is one that is safe for breathing. With a multitude of pollutants in the air, you’re unquestionably doing harm to your respiratory system when inside the home. Obviously, a hoarder is unable to unearth the dirt, grime, dust and mould from their homes’ surfaces as they are all covered up with objects. This makes it near impossible to improve the home’s air quality.
“The large amount of dust in hoarders’ homes and the odours and ammonia from decaying products cause serious indoor air quality issues and can result in various respiratory problems – chronic coughing, shortness of breath, inflammation of the lungs, etc.,” explains Luke Armstrong on RestorationMasterFinder.com, “Clutter can even fall on air vents and/or block other airways, causing lack of oxygen and raising the carbon dioxide levels in the house.”
If you’ve ever seen an episode of the A&E series, “Hoarders”, you’ve undoubtedly caught gruesome glimpses of homes that are infested with bugs and even rodents. Both the messes and the waste these creatures leave behind create an environment that is virtually toxic.
“Cockroaches, rats, flies, and other pests are attracted to rotting food and animal waste products,” explains Rainbow International Restoration, “A severe hoarding situation can become a haven for pests that spread diseases to the people and animals living in these unsanitary conditions.”
Our blog has often discussed the health issues that mould can trigger. Combining the stale air produced from a hoarder’s clutter with the high level of humidity that often results from leaky pipes hidden behind all that clutter, you get the perfect situation for mould growth. Not to mention, the spoiled food that is often present in a hoarder’s home adds to the mould infestation problem.
When kept in the home for months, says Armstrong, rotten food can harbour mildew and fungus growth. “This inevitably results in a severe mould problem that can cause substantial structural damage and serious health issues – mould can trigger allergies, damage the respiratory system, and aggravate existing health conditions,” he writes.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is for the air in your home to be pollutant-free. If you have issues with hoarding or if you’re living with a hoarder, your health is at risk. We would highly recommend a major clean up of your home with the help of professionals, followed up with an indoor air quality inspection.