You might not think attic cleaning is important when it comes to home maintenance. Unfortunately, letting an attic space get dusty and cluttered can lead to problems. You may miss something important, such as a roof leak, when your attic is cluttered. Additionally, a poorly maintained attic can contribute to indoor air quality issues.
How a Dirty Attic Affects Your Indoor Air Quality
Over time, a neglected attic will accumulate layers of dust. It won’t be long before pests, including dust mites, begin inhabiting a dirty and cluttered attic. As more dust accumulates, those dust particles, dust mites, pest feces, and other contaminants will get picked up by the air in your home.
While the filter in your HVAC system should clean most of these particles from your treated air, some dust and debris will still circulate throughout your home. This can lead to allergic reactions, more frequent asthma attacks, skin conditions, and other health concerns.
If you haven’t inspected your attic in recent months, changes in your family’s health will indicate a need for attic cleaning. Some signs to watch for include frequent sneezing or coughing. A dry or scratchy throat can also indicate poor air quality. Dry sinuses, itchy skin, and brittle hair are more signs that you should have your attic cleaned.
What to Know About Your Dust Mites Allergy
Dust mites are difficult to see unless you’re looking for them. They thrive in dark, humid places where they can feed on dead human skin cells, so it’s common to find them in neglected residential attics or crawl spaces.
People who suffer from asthma or have allergic reactions to mites are more severely affected by the presence of dust mites. Dust mites don’t directly cause these reactions. They don’t bite, sting, or burrow into the skin. Instead, their droppings become airborne, and people inhale them along with other dust particles.
Once you inhale dust mite droppings, they go through the respiratory system and cause a reaction in some people. A dust allergy is actually an allergic reaction to the presence of mite droppings in the dust.
Watch for these symptoms of a dust mite allergy:
- Sneezing and/or coughing
- Congested or runny nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Difficulty catching your breath
- Skin problems, such as a rash or itchy spots
If you observe these symptoms, an attic cleaning can help reduce or eliminate them. When you know you have a dust mite allergy, hiring someone else to clean your attic might be wise. That will help you limit your contact with the allergens that are causing your symptoms.
Can House and Attic Cleaning Cause an Allergic Reaction?
There are several ways you might experience an adverse reaction while cleaning your house or undertaking an attic-cleaning project.
For example, traditional cleaning supplies contain chemicals that are harmful to breathe. Inhaling a high enough concentration of ammonia, bleach, or other fumes can damage your respiratory system.
You may also stir allergens up as you clean. Pollen, pet dander, dust mite droppings, and other pollutants will get picked up and contaminate the air you breathe as you clean.
Damp areas like bathrooms and your attic might also have mildew or mold. As you clean, those spores become airborne, infecting your respiratory system.
Frequent cleaning will reduce the presence of all of these allergens and pollutants. When you hire someone to clean your living spaces on a regular basis, you’ll enjoy purer indoor air quality. This can help reduce asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and other chronic health issues.
Why You Should Install an Air Purifier
When looking for an air purifier, find one with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. A HEPA filter effectively removes smaller particles, such as those containing dust mite feces and mold spores.
Some people use a separate air purifier in their attic or crawl space. When you regularly schedule attic cleaning and use an air purifier in this space, you’ll keep more allergens out of your indoor air. Just make sure you change the air purifier’s filter regularly.
What Does Attic Cleaning Involve?
Whether you perform attic cleaning yourself or hire someone else, the project should always begin with an inspection. Look for stains and other signs of a roof leak. Check your insulation for damage. You’ll want to replace roofing or insulation before cleaning this space.
Keep an eye out for insect, reptile, or rodent infestations. This will require taking pest control measures to eliminate existing infestations and prevent pests from getting into your attic in the future.
Declutter Your Attic
This is the time to throw away any items you won’t use anymore. If there are items you do want to keep, move them into sealable plastic bins. Throw away cardboard since pests use this material for food and nests.
Clean the Attic Surfaces
Wash your windows and frames to remove dust. You can use a damp cloth to wipe down the attic’s walls and any beams or rafters. Sweep and mop the floor. If the attic has carpeting, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove dirt and debris from the carpet fibers.
Look for Air Leaks
If your attic has windows or exterior doors, feel for air leaks around them. There might also be leaks between the boards that comprise your attic walls. Seal every leak to ensure you keep pollen and other allergens out.
Install Your Air Purifier or Change Its Filter
This is the time to install your air purifier. Alternatively, change the unit’s air filter. You should also install a new filter in your HVAC system.
Check Your Vents
Most attics have vents to promote good ventilation and air circulation. Make sure the vents are free of obstructions. If your vent has a screen covering, use a rag to brush dust off of the screen.
We Provide Thorough Attic Cleaning Services
Attic Projects offers free estimates to help you plan your attic maintenance project, and our 100% fair price guarantee ensures you’ll always get the results you expect. We’ll clear out the clutter, clean all surfaces, update your insulation, and provide pest control. Contact us to get started.