Sick Building Syndrome: How Your Workplace Can Make You Sick
With cold weather and flu season approaching faster than any of us would like, it’s easy to think about our health in terms of what’s going on outside the walls of our homes and workplaces. But what about inside? If you’re not already aware, indoor air quality is one of the leading threats to Americans’ health according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Even in the warmer months, we can actually get sick from being inside the buildings where we live and work every day. So what is sick building syndrome, and what can you do about it? Here are some important things to think about when it comes to the quality of air you’re breathing in your living and working spaces.
- SICK BUILDINGS MAKE SICK PEOPLE. A structure is a collection of systems, just like our bodies have blood vessels and digestive systems. Think about your home, for example, as having a respiratory system in the ductwork and HVAC components that move the air throughout your rooms. Over time, these ducts can easily get clogged with little particles of dust, dander, dirt, lint and all sorts of other bits of debris that you track inside on the bottom of your shoes and which flake off from so many of the existing surfaces throughout your house. Now think about your own lungs and how if you weren’t exchanging oxygen by breathing fresh air – how quickly would you develop toxic levels of carbon dioxide and other destructive molecules inside your chest? It’s the same idea with your house: if you don’t ever introduce fresh air, your house remains a closed environment and it can get toxic pretty quickly without an intentional, regular ventilation plan to air out your rooms and a routine cleaning plan to make sure that toxic particles are removed.
- WHAT ARE SOME SYMPTOMS? Evidence of sick building syndrome can be found in unexplained illnesses, or even just minor ongoing irritations like dry eyes, itchy skin, asthma or respiratory problems that are worse than usual, fever, headaches, dizziness, and any number of other issues. If your family or your coworkers seem to be under the weather a lot more than usual and especially when they feel worse in one particular area of a structure, it’s time to do some inspecting and make a plan of action to get your sick building feeling well again so that the people inside it can feel better, too. One common culprit behind sick building syndrome is dirty ductwork, and if you haven’t had a proper air duct cleaning or dryer vent cleaning service in a long time, then maybe it’s time to determine whether you should invest in these services.
- WHAT CAN I DO? A careful inspection of your property is the best way to verify whether you’ve got some serious building sickness going on. Take a look in your attic and carefully walk through your basement to see if you can discover what’s causing any funky smells or other unpleasant sensations. You’ll especially want to remove any air registers and grills on your HVAC system to see how clean they are. If you find moisture control issues like water damage, mold or simply a lot of dust and dirt, then you know you’ll need to develop a more detailed plan of action. This might involve cleaning and remediating the issues yourself, but you’ll need to think about how much time you have, whether you have the right tools and training for the job, and finally how confident you are that you and your family or fellow staff will be to make sure that you’ve actually cleaned and sanitized all the affected areas. For example, if you find a spot that looks like black mold on a caked-up spot of dirt inside one of your air registers, are you sure that you’ve killed it and made sure that it won’t be coming back again?
- WHO CAN HELP? Here at AdvantaClean, we’ve been helping sick buildings get better for 25 years. Since 1994, we’ve had a stellar reputation for air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning services that get into every nook and cranny of home and commercial ductwork. We suction away all of the toxic contaminants that have been degrading your indoor air quality and negatively impacting your health. Our technicians use the best practices laid out by the National Air Duct Cleaner Association (NADCA) and the most powerful and effective HEPA-filtered vacuum systems to clean the entire length of your ventilation system, not just the first section of ductwork you can see by the register or inside the return air grill. We take pride in a job well done for our neighbors, because that’s what you are – we’re locally owned and staffed by only the most professional and highest trained technicians who treat your home or office with the same care as they show their own. We don’t want you to be sick or have a sick building any longer, so call us today! We’re standing by to serve you and we look forward to making your living and working spaces truly clean: AdvantaClean!