The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that 60 percent of U.S. homes have wet basements. That means that more than half of American homes could have indoor environmental issues brought on by too much moisture. Whether it’s from subsurface seepage or rain-related, there are a number of clues that let you know you have a problem.

If there’s a musty mold smell sometimes in your home, it’s important to investigate the cause and do something about it. It most often comes from basements, attics, crawlspaces, or other areas that lack proper ventilation and humidity control. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions. They spread and reproduce by making spores. It is during that growth and reproduction that mold produces gasses called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC).

Watching the weather forecast on the news every day, you’ll hear them talk about humidity levels outside and how it will affect your day. But do you pay as much attention to your indoor humidity level? We spend up to 90% of our time indoors, so making sure the humidity level is just right is not only important for our comfort, it’s important for our health.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) a professional organization of medical specialists with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases, recognizes that millions of people suffer year-round from allergy symptoms caused by indoor allergens, noting that culprits include dust mite droppings, animal dander, cockroach droppings and molds. When we have an allergic reaction to these, symptoms include sneezing, stuffiness, a runny nose, or itchiness in your nose, the roof of your mouth, throat, eyes or ears.

Whether you are someone who enjoys all the efficiencies of a newly built home, or the character and charm of an older home, it’s important to understand all the ins and outs of how your place is ventilated. With improvements in building codes and construction practices, new houses tend to be more airtight while older ones require renovations and upgrading to eliminate leakage and drafts.

The air inside your home is invisible. So how do you know it’s unhealthy? Unlike dirt and dust that you can see, then vacuum or wipe away, knowing how clean your indoor air is harder to measure. If you have big concerns, you can contact an air quality specialist who can test for specific contaminants and provide a detailed report. Or, you can use common sense, and recognize some of the simple signs that you have a problem.

The Canadian Lung Association recommends that everyone should make healthy air a goal. Canadians spend 90 percent of their time indoors and when the indoor air quality is poor, it can have an impact on everyone’s health and greatly affect people suffering from asthma, allergies or lung disease.

To ensure you have good indoor air quality, you need to control the source of any pollutants and bring fresh air into your home or apartment, i.e. ventilate it.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency," the potential impact of indoor air quality on human health nationally can be considerable for several reasons”: