If you stand any chance of defeating the odds and remaining healthy in face of the onslaught of runny noses and phlegmy coughs that await you beyond your boundary walls this flu season, then you need to be aware of the many hidden germs loitering around your living spaces that pose potential health risks. Below is a list of just four of the ways our own homes could be making us sick…

#1 Fridge Fungus
When was the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator? And by that we don’t mean just a quick wipe down of the door with dishwashing liquid and a sponge. To remove any potential risks of food poisoning and germs, you need to unpack and wipe down each shelf regularly, clean between the grooves of the plastic door seals with a toothbrush, and dust off the electric coil behind your freezer. This coil, which helps ward against frost build-up, blows hot air into your home. To avoid dust particles from being blown around, you need to be dusting behind your refrigerator regularly.

#2 Damaging Detergents
Those who are prone to allergies need to be careful what cleaning products they are using. Many of the fragrance-enhancing products have negative effects on sensitive sinuses. The dye and ammonium compounds in certain products can also aggravate skin that is prone to irritations. It is better to use as many natural cleaning solutions (such as vinegar and water or baking soda) as possible when cleaning your home.

#3 Structural Sicknesses
Those living in houses built before 1980 need to ensure that there are no traces of Asbestos or lead paint in their homes. These common building materials were discovered to pose severe long-term health risks and are no longer used in any form of construction today. If you are currently looking at properties, it is important to enquire about this when viewing older homes.

#4 Mold Madness
Not all mold species are hazardous, but all mold points to dampness problems; and this is a health risk in any home. Usually found in damp places such as bathrooms or kitchens, mold can also build up in unseen places like corners that don’t receive a lot of sunlight or ventilation. If you’re really struggling with sinus problems and ongoing illness, it might be worth investigating the inside of your ceiling to ensure that there is no mold build-up hidden away up there.