The Hidden Dangers of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Most homeowners are quite vigilant when it concerns the surroundings of their home. Because purchasing a home is often one of the largest investments a person will make, there is a real incentive to protect that investment.

All aspects of the home at some point require maintenance. More often than not, a homeowner’s main concern is the threat of rising water or seepage within the basement and/or crawl space. When there is a water problem within the foundation, homeowners generally act quickly towards having the problem repaired in order to prevent potential (or further) water damage. While excess water is an obvious problem, other problems in the basement or crawl space may exist, that have the potential to be more dangerous. Unlike water, these problems may not be visible or as obvious, making it likely that they remain unnoticed.

Radon gas infiltration, mold spores and mildew are an all-too common problem. While almost everyone is aware of their existence, to some degree, many homeowners often fail to realize that such problems may have a major influence on the air they breathe inside their home. These invisible substances can easily enter through the foundation, slab and cove (where the wall meets the floor). The harmful air that circulates through a basement or crawl space will eventually make its way upstairs (eventually making up 50% of living space air).

There are several measures that can be done to improve the indoor air quality of a home – many of which may be accomplished by a basement waterproofing contractor. Because excess water results in mold and mildew growth, waterproofing the basement is an important measure towards improving the indoor air quality of a home.

In addition to basements, the crawl space has a major influence on the indoor air quality of a home. One of the most influential measures towards improving a home’s indoor air quality is by sealing and insulating the crawl space. A crawl space that is properly sealed and insulated provides many benefits, both immediate and long-term. Many homeowners use the crawl space for storage. A typical crawl space is dirty, damp and contains a musty smell – not the most ideal place to store valuable possessions. A sealed and insulated crawl space instantly provides a clean, dry and safe area for storage.

The long-term benefits of crawl space sealing and insulation are even more important. The EmeShield zero permeation insulating liner by Emecole works as a natural vapor barrier against moisture. The waterproof insulating liner prevents termites and pest infestation, while reflecting radiant heat, which conserves energy costs.

While the sealing and insulation of a crawl space is a sure winner for homeowners, it offers an even greater opportunity for contractors. Crawl space sealing and insulation not only makes a perfect addition to an existing basement waterproofing business, but it also makes for an excellent stand-alone business.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the second leading cause of lung cancer results from radon gas poisoning. Breathing in radon gas – especially over the course of many years if gone unnoticed – may potentially pose a life threatening situation for those living inside that home. This does not have to happen. Just because the problem may be out of sight, it certainly should not remain out of mind.

The long-term benefits – in addition to the immediate benefits – of sealing a crawl space go a long way towards maximizing the homeowner’s investment in his or her home.

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