If someone in your family has allergies to pet dander, mold, dust mites and other allergens, it’s essential to do a big clean, ideally before you move in.
Here’s a handy checklist of 6 things that you can do to help allergy-proof your new home.
Using a machine with a HEPA filter, vacuum the home from top to bottom – including the basement and attic if they are accessible. Even areas you don’t use regularly are part of a home’s air system.
2. Wipe the walls
Give the walls a good scrub with a damp, soapy sponge to remove pet dander, mold spores and other potential triggers. Dry the area thoroughly to avoid mold and dust mite growth. Do the same with all cabinets and drawers.
3. Ditch the carpet
Carpeting is a favorite hideout for allergens. If you can, replace it with hardwood, tile or cork. If you can’t, steam-clean with an unscented solution, then vacuum regularly.
4. Remove old upholstered furniture
If previous residents leave furniture, get rid of anything that’s upholstered, as there’s a good chance it’s harboring mold and dust mites.
5. Change furnace filter
If the home has a forced-air heating or cooling system, change the filter. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, preferably using a filter with a MERV rating of between 11 and 13.
6. Clean the ducts
Air ducts can house pet dander, dust mites, mold and other problematic particles. Get them cleaned before moving in.
7. Fix leaks
Look for signs of moisture around windows and doors, in basements and attics, and around sinks and bathtubs, and repair or seal them right away.
8. Call an exterminator
If you notice droppings or other signs of a pest infestation, call an exterminator. It’s easiest to address the problem before you move in.
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