Being safe in your own home is one of the main reasons why having a house is so awesome. You get to relax, unwind, and forget about the rest of the world in the comfort and safety of your private space. With that said, sometimes there are dangers lurking in our own homes that we are unaware of.
In this article, we’ll look at household issues you must never ignore or overlook, for your safety and the safety of your loved ones.
Can you guess what the most common issue is that homeowners have to face? Yup, mold! It’s something that can just show up one day without you even realizing it, which is not a good thing.
Mold is most commonly found in rooms where the moisture levels are higher than it’s in the rest of the house. Your kitchen and bathroom are the most likely areas where mold will show up, so keep your eyes peeled here.
Mold can lead to many health issues, such as:
- Stuffy or runny noses
- Frequent sneezing
- Itchy throat, nose, and eyes
- Dry and scaly eyes
- Nasal congestion
If you notice mold in your home (you’ll notice green or black spots as well as a musty smell), you should take care of it immediately for your safety. Mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water and clean up the moldy area. There are also cleaning products you can buy to get rid of mold in your home. Since water damage can lead to mold, it’s a good idea to contact a rainwater management company if you recently experienced many storms or heavy rain.
Sagging Floors, Roofs, and Ceilings
There are a few reasons why you may have saggy ceilings, floors, or a sagging roof. It’s often because of structural issues. Your home could settle over time as well, making the whole matter worse.
These structural issues can be caused by moisture or foundation problems, so you may have to rethink the entire state of your house. If you suspect that it’s necessary, you might even have to consider a new water heater installation that takes into consideration the structure of your home.
This isn’t something you can fix yourself, though, so it would be best to contact a professional home inspector to determine the scale of the damage to your home’s structure. For your safety, rely on an expert rather than your own knowledge.
Another really big safety risk that is quite frequent in many homes is foundation cracks suddenly showing up. In most cases, the cracks didn’t really show up suddenly, they were just overlooked until they became hard to miss. These cracks are most easily noticed on a cement floor because there’s nothing hiding them.
There are other signs to look out for as well, such as windows and doors becoming more difficult to open and close. If you pick up on these things, you should call in an expert to come and check out your home.
Foundation repairs can be quite costly, especially if they’re left for too long, so sort them out as soon as you can. If you don’t, you could end up with structural damage that is beyond repair.
Sometimes, the dangers that are hiding around your home are caused by carelessness and neglect, or simple ignorance. For your safety, and the safety of everyone else in your home, make sure your home poses no falling hazards. This is especially important if you have elderly folks or young kids in your home. Falling hazards account for about 25% of hospital admissions every year, so be careful!
If you have stairs or steep inclines, make sure there is proper lighting and railing to ensure no one takes an unfortunate stumble. Also, take care of the stairs themselves so there are no loose points or flimsy areas.
If you have lights that flicker or don’t work properly, it could be a sign that you have electrical issues. These need to be sorted out swiftly because they can lead to fires that can cost lives. Other signs include lights that change in brightness and dysfunctional switches.
Taking care of faulty lighting may seem like an easy job, but it’s best not to tackle this kind of issue yourself. It can be dangerous, so if you have lights that are acting up, contact an electrician who is qualified to handle them. It’s best to let professionals take care of anything electrical because electricity can be very dangerous.
There are few things that can sour your home life the way pests can! Although weather changes can lead to new critters making their way into your home, having an infestation can be really awful and even bad for your health.
If you notice mouse droppings or cockroaches running around in your kitchen, for example, you have to call a pest control company immediately. Mice and cockroaches carry diseases and bacteria that can make their way into your food and cause your whole family to become ill. For your safety, get rid of pests as soon as you possibly can.
You should also consider a deep drain cleaning because any food stuck down there can continuously lure pests to your kitchen. Check other places where pests can nest as well, such as ducts, exhaust vents, and utility access panels.
Loose Carpet Tacks
This may not seem like a big deal, but if you have loose carpet tacks, members of your family can trip and fall and get seriously injured. This point ties in with falling hazards, but I feel it’s so important to keep in mind it warrants its own spot on our list.
For your safety, make sure there are no loose tacks that can be stepped on. These tacks are meant to keep your carpets in place but they can be kicked loose over time and are surprisingly small for the danger they pose, so be vigilant.
You may think of flaking paint as simply ugly and a reminder to paint your home, but it can actually be a sign of a bigger issue in your home. Water damage and prolonged exposure to rain or snow can lead to flaking paint, which can also indicate water damage to the rest of your home. Water damage poses a threat to anyone who lives in your home.
Water damage restoration can be expensive and a long process, so it’s always better to take care of flaking paint and investigate any other underlying damage as soon as it’s noticed. If you live in an area that gets lots of rain or experiences high humidity, this should be a priority for you.
As a homeowner, you probably know that it’s important that you clean your gutters very often and very thoroughly. However, even the best and most frequent cleaning can’t avoid eventual damage. For your safety, and the safety of your home and loved ones, give your gutters an inspection after every cleaning and take note if they’re not functioning well, even when you take good care of them.
Bent or leaky gutters can fail at keeping water away from your house’s foundation line and need to be repaired as soon as possible. You can call your local plumber to help you with this matter because it’s something that should be addressed as quickly as possible. You may have to replace your gutters if the damage is severe enough.
No matter what you do, and how careful you are, hazardous substances will be present in your home. These substances are typically used for cleaning so they’re important and necessary, but should be kept away from family members as much as possible.
If you choose to store all your cleaning supplies and hazardous substances in one place, it’s best to find a way to lock them up or have a way of keeping them secure from curious little hands. Pets can also get confused and accidentally ingest these substances, so make sure they’re not easy to reach.
For your family’s safety, it’s best to keep these substances stored in high places that can be locked so no one can get to them when they shouldn’t.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poses a serious risk to people and should be taken very seriously. It is an odorless and colorless gas that is so dangerous it can lead to death within just minutes when inhaled. There are many sources of carbon monoxide poisoning in the average home, such as portable generators, gas heaters, and gas stoves.
It is for this reason that you have to make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home and that they’re working properly. Having just one detector won’t be enough, so ensure there are several throughout your property. You should have detectors in your living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and hallways, to be safe.
If at any point you’re considering house repiping for any reason, think about making sure you know where your gas pipes are so you can install detectors where they can pick up on any leaks.
One of the biggest and most common risks at home is presented by fire hazards—they’re the cause of many unfortunate deaths. This is something to take very seriously, especially if you have small children, pets, or elderly people living with you. However, even people living alone should take fire hazards seriously.
Fires are extremely difficult to control and respond to, so for your safety, always make sure you have working fire detectors and fire extinguishers close by. You should have properly working smoke alarms as well. Also, make sure everyone in your home knows how to use a fire extinguisher and has memorized how to react if a fire breaks out. It’s also very important that everyone knows basic safety regulations, such as not leaving cooking unattended.
If you have an AC unit, make sure it’s working properly. A faulty AC can lead to a fire hazard, so regular AC repairs and maintenance is a good idea.
We’ve mentioned faulty lighting earlier, and how it could be related to electrical problems. However, there are many other electrical hazards you need to keep in mind for your safety and the safety of your family. Anything that produces electricity and sends it through wires or cables poses a serious threat and should be handled with care.
You need to make sure your home’s electrical wiring is safe and up-to-standard. Electrical outlets and cords need to be handled carefully as well, since they’re often used by children or people who can get distracted and make mistakes. Teach everyone in your home how to work with electrical devices and appliances to ensure their safety now and in the future.
Last, but certainly not least on our list, is toxic materials. Sure, most homes may not be exposed to any, but many of them still have asbestos and lead paint present somewhere, and it’s important that you know about it. Homes built before the 1980s have these materials present, so if you have an older house, you should take care.
There are other sources of toxic materials like these as well, such as old pipes, vinyl and asphalt flooring, heater insulation, siding material, and window caulking. You may have to consider window replacement as well as the replacement of pipes and flooring if you suspect that’s the case in your home.
Enjoy the Safety of Your Home
This article’s list isn’t exhaustive but should give you a good idea of what you need to keep in mind for your safety in the future. Don’t ever overlook any of the issues mentioned here and be sure to add your own important elements to the list so you can truly enjoy the safety of your home. It may take some extra work to ensure you don’t have any safety or health risks, but it’s worth knowing your family is not in any danger due to negligence.