Indoor Air Quality in Homes
Remodeling Your Home? Have You Considered Indoor Air Quality?
In general, you should address the following issues when remodeling your home.
|Energy Efficient Improvements|
|Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)|
Read about Best Practices
Houses and apartments are often hosts to common pests such as cockroaches, fleas, termites, ants, mice, and rats. Pests can be a health hazard to you, your family, and your pets. It’s easy to understand why you may need and want to control them. Nowadays, you can choose from many different methods as you plan your strategy for controlling pests. Sometimes a non-chemical method of control is as effective and convenient as a chemical alternative. For many pests, total elimination is almost impossible, but it is possible to control them. Knowing your options is the key to pest control. Methods available to you include pest prevention, non-chemical pest controls, and chemical pesticides. The most effective strategy for controlling pests may be to combine methods in an approach known as integrated pest management (IPM) that emphasizes preventing pest damage. In IPM, information about pests and available pest control methods is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. (The IPM approach is presented more fully in EPA's Citizens Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety at http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/Publications/Cit_Guide/citguide.pdf )
Preventing Pest Problems
Pests seek places to live that satisfy basic needs for air, moisture, food, and shelter. The best way to control pests is to try to prevent them from entering your home or garden in the first place. You can do this by removing the elements that they need to survive. Remodeling and renovation offer opportunities to take the following preventive actions to prevent indoor pest problems:
- Remove water. All living things, including pests, need water for survival. Fix leaky plumbing, and do not let water accumulate
anywhere in or around your home. Remove or dry out water-damaged and wet materials. Even dampness or high humidity can attract pests.
- Remove or block off indoor pest hiding places. Caulk cracks and crevices to control pest access. Avoid storing newspapers,
paper bags, and boxes for long periods of time. Also, check for pests in packages or boxes before carrying them into your home.
- Block pest entryways. Install screens on all floor drains, windows, and doors to discourage crawling and flying pests from
entering your home. Make sure any passageways through the floor are blocked. Place weatherstripping on doors and windows. Caulk
and seal openings in walls. Keep doors shut when not in use.
- Remove food. Consider pest-proof food and waste containers. You may use this as a criterion when evaluating cabinetry or designing space.