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Cheri Wilkins

Make Your Home Healthier. Here is how

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After indoors during the pandemic, many have realized the benefits of good design – proper ventilation, insulation, and moisture control, for instance – on their health. 


National Healthy Homes Month (NHHM) has fresh resources available to help you make your home healthier and enhance your comfort and well-being. 


NHHM is an annual effort by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) to raise awareness of the basic principles of healthy homes and housing-related health hazards. 


One starting point is HUD's "Eight Tips for Keeping a Healthy Home."


Keep it Well-Ventilated – Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens and use whole house ventilation for supplying fresh air to reduce the concentration of contaminants in the home. The newer homes are built very tight so that you do not let the warm air out, Whole house fans are very important and should run at least twice a day.

  • Keep it Pest-free – All pests look for food, water, and shelter. Seal cracks and openings throughout your home and store food in pest-resistant containers. Use sticky traps and the least toxic pesticides like boric acid powder, if needed.
  • Keep it Contaminant-free – Reduce lead-related hazards in pre-1978 homes by fixing deteriorated paint and keeping floors and window areas clean using a wet-cleaning approach. In addition, test your home for radon, a naturally occurring dangerous gas that enters homes through soil, crawlspaces, and foundation cracks. Install a radon removal system if levels above the EPA action level are detected


Also, look for information specific to your interests. Here are five possibilities. 


1. Vintage homes. Though many prize old homes for their artisanship, unique architecture, and charm, many harbor health hazards, including lead pipes, asbestos, and iffy insulation. For advice on the hazards and possible solutions, see 

2. Safely age in place. A recent University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 88% of adults want to age at home. Start assessing your home and make aging-in-place upgrades if you are among them. For more information, see,  

3. Green upgrades. Green upgrades ( are good for you and the environment. Such changes can include reducing contaminants, removing mold and moisture that can trigger asthma and eliminating Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) found in things like lacquers, cleaning supplies, and paint strippers. 


4. Indoor air quality (IAQ). Healthy indoor air is critical to good health and lowers your risk of respiratory conditions. The Hayward Score helps you determine your home's IAQ by asking you a series of questions. Based on your answers, it ( provides a score, identifies your home's problem areas, and generates a detailed report and suggestions on improving home health. For more about IAQ, see the American Lung Association ( and North Carolina Healthy Homes ( 


5. Healthy home to-do lists. Consult this calendar ( for routine to-dos that will help you maintain your home's health all year. Also, see the National Center for Housing ( for a detailed checklist of interior and outdoor projects. 


You can count on an SRES® to guide you through the process of buying or selling your home, making the transaction less stressful and more successful

Cheri Wilkins, VanDorm Realty, 1530 Black Lake Blvd SW Suite F Olympia, WA