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(Chicago.CityRegions.Com, January 23, 2018 ) Clean fresh smelling air is essential in order for people to be happy and healthy. However, most homes are not built with a strategic design to ensure that indoor air is fresh, plentiful, comfortable, or healthy to breath. Air infiltration is usually by accident instead of by design, and unmanaged drafts from attics, through walls, and around windows is the norm. These drafts from attics and walls mix with off-gassing building materials and decomposing pest debris to degrade air quality, create odors, and may lower a homes value and make it more difficult to sell. An even bigger problem than stale air, and decomposing debris is MOISTURE.
Moisture attracts insects, and is essential to mold and bacterial growth. More than anything it is moisture which make a home smell "old" and, "If a house smells old... It is old! " And... If the air smells unhealthy... (You know) So, eEliminate damp areas, inside and out, ASAP.
Remember... "Where there is moisture there is life." And microscopic life, in your home, is always a bad thing. Make sure bathroom exhaust vents straight up through the roof (not to the eaves), to prevent moisture from settling in the attic, causing mold and wet (damaged) insulation in the attic. (because the spoiled attic air will eventually mix with the air your family must breath.)
Air from pest debris in attics and walls carries diseases and also mixes with the air you breathe.
~Seal attic/wall joints to reduce contamination from attic mold and droppings.
~Seal wall/floor joints to reduce contamination chemicals and droppings in walls. (this also improves energy efficiency and reduces uncomfortable winter drafts.)
NOTE: Homes with unhealthy or unpleasant air can still be greatly improved. After sealing a home, always consider adding clean fresh outside air to the cold air return. This reduces drafts from walls, and brings fresh clean outside air directly to the furnace to be warmed and filtered. Manage air to improve health, and comfort in ANY home. "Seal walls tight.. Then Ventilate right".
~Outside: use special* pest resistant materials to "exclude" mice and insects from your home.
~Keep ground cover, trees, and shrubs from touching or overhanging the home, to reduce hibernation or invasion by insects and rodents.
Check all gas lines for leaks. Most homes have at least one gas leak.
~Apply dish soap around joints of furnaces, water heaters, ranges, and dryers to identify leaks. Most gas suppliers provide gas leak repair at no cost.
~Test your furnace and water heater with a "Combustion Analyzer". Most furnace installers and home inspectors do not test. A Combustion Analyzer test is the only way to be sure a furnace is burning efficiently and not producing dangerous Carbon Monoxide gas. NOTE: Test all combustion appliance zones thoroughly, after any significant changes to a homes airflow.
Test for Radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer
~Radon is a radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless, and is quite common in the Chicago suburbs, at levels which are considered unsafe by the EPA.
Airborne mouse droppings and raccoon droppings can both carry a fatal virus.
~Use OSHA approved masks and gloves when removing any type of animal droppings, after cleanup of mouse droppings shower immediately, wash clothing, and fresh air the room for 24 hours before reentering.
Clean leaves from gutters to reduce mosquitos, wood destroying ants, etc.
Protect ponds with thuringiensis to prevent mosquitos without harming fish, etc.
Fallen seed from bird feeders pose serious health risks for both humans and birds, as they pass disease from bird to bird, and they promote increased rodent populations.
Outside: Maintain a 3" siding-to-soil gap. Avoid mulch that is too spongy and design the soil grade so that excess water drains away from the foundation.
The most dangerous Chicagoland pest? The Yellow Jacket!
~Avoid mowing near these if even a few fly in and out of one spot.
~Open soda cans only slightly to prevent throat stings.
~Don't battle this insect if elderly or allergic. They kill hundreds locally each year
~Keep ground cover, trees, and shrubs from touching or overhanging the home, to reduce hibernation or invasion by insects and rodents .
If you need help or want to learn more visit us @ Fox Valley Environmental Pest Control. Our phones are answered by University Trained - State of Illinois Certified Techs from 8AM-5PM (Mon-Fri). So... even if you just have a question, give us a call. We can help!!
Fox Valley Environmental Pest Control