Helping customers understand the important reasons to improve ventilation

Whether you are building a new home, renovating an existing one, or fixing a problem like a leaky roof or wet basement, helping your customers understand the importance of proper ventilation and clean air will not only help them enjoy their home more, it can have long-term benefits for their health. What they don’t see, i.e., the indoor air they breathe every day, is just as vital as what they do see.

Poor indoor air quality ranked one of top five environmental risks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ranked poor indoor air quality among the top five factors of environmental risk, saying “the potential impact of indoor air quality on human health nationally can be considerable for several reasons.”

As part of the EPA's report on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), they identify three key factors:
1. Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.
2. People who are often most susceptible to the adverse effects of pollution (e.g., the very young, older adults, people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease) tend to spend even more time indoors.
3. Indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades due to such factors as energy-efficient building construction (when it lacks sufficient mechanical ventilation to ensure adequate air exchange) and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners.

The EPA lists the sources of typical pollutants that people should be aware of including substances of natural origin such as radon, pet dander, and mold. In addition, the EPA also notes that “excessive moisture also promotes the growth of common indoor pollutants like dust mites, bacteria, and viruses which can impact health.”

Explaining how moisture and mold impacts health

The EPA explains that excess moisture in homes or buildings creates an ideal environment for mold spores to grow. Being exposed to mold can trigger allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in people who are allergic to mold. With or without allergies, occupants may experience upper and lower respiratory problems, as well as irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs when exposed to airborne mold particles.

The EPA lists a number of conditions that dampness and mold have been linked to including:
  • Worsening of asthma
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Rhinitis.
The EPA also mentions an uncommon disease known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis has been associated with exposure to indoor mold in people who have weakened immune systems. This disease creates flu-like symptoms that may recur. In addition to mold, the EPA also notes that “excessive moisture also promotes the growth of common indoor pollutants like dust mites, bacteria, and viruses which can impact health.”

Taking care of the problem

Signs of dampness include moldy odors, visible moisture like wet surfaces or condensation around windows, leaks from plumbing, pipes, or cracks in the walls, or simply high humidity.

Once you have taken care of the source of the moisture and mold, your customers should ensure they have proper ventilation and humidity control all year round.

It’s an important step towards improving indoor air quality and enjoying all the health benefits of breathing better air throughout their home each and every day.

To read more about Indoor Air Quality(IAQ) on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website go to https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/introduction-indoor-air-quality