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Does my home exacerbate my child’s asthma?

April 30, 2017

IMG_0149A home is regarded as one’s sanctuary, a place to feel safe and above all a place to bring up children in a healthy environment. But what would you do if your home was making your child unwell.

Well many homes I see in London are potentially unhealthy and in some cases create the conditions to trigger respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Please don’t think that this is solely associated with older Victorian homes. New build homes with their multiple bathrooms, hermetically sealed double glazing and ultra-strict air-tightness specifications are becoming a real issue.

If you’re going to buy a property then you might like to consider these 5 housing health hazards.

1. Lower ground floor (basement) flats tend to be colder, more prone to condensation, have less direct sunlight and are closer to the pollution from road traffic. The basement is a pollution and moisture sump and will be the unhealthiest position in the building. That’s why they’re less valuable than those higher up the building. Did you know that developers will increase the price of an identical property by around £5,000 per floor as you go up the building.

2. Homes near busy roads are less valuable for a reason. They’re closer to dirtier/polluted air.

3. Homes with multiple bathrooms are very popular (partly due to the demand from the buy-to-let market). However, having multiple bathrooms in small two bed flats with double glazing greatly increases the humidity inside the home. Dust mites just love warm moist homes and can multiply rapidly in these types of conditions.

4. Single aspect properties (homes with windows on only one elevation, mainly new build flats) are difficult to ventilate. This makes it difficult to fully ventilate the interior thus allowing moist stagnant air to linger. This allows bacteria and condensation mould to colonise these areas which may be enough to trigger or exacerbate asthma.

5. Small bedrooms with solid brick heat loss walls with a northerly orientation and double glazing are extremely prone to condensation. Never put a young child in this type of room.

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