Buying a home is a big investment. People have homes inspected before making a purchase to ensure they are getting what they pay for. However, once the initial payment is rendered, many people forget that houses, like people need check-ups every so often to help prevent major structural problems. Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to owning a home. Taking a look at roofing, piping, foundations and more ensures your investments will bring a good return when you choose to sell.
The top four home health hazards are:
1. Mold can form when leaks go untreated or when leaks are found but the spaces between walls and in other hard to access areas aren’t properly dried out. You may have seen mold in your shower or around the grout in your bathroom. This isn’t as much of a concern as mold that grows unchecked. Mold likes moisture. Moisture can be found at the sources of leaks that can happen with leaking pipes under sinks or in the walls or near the foundation of the house. Even a slow leak can cause mold to grow and can eventually cause structural damage if wood rots and collapses or foundations are eaten away. As far as in-home damage, mold can cause serious health hazards from mold spores. In extreme cases, people have to be evacuated from their homes. Having your home inspected annually or every few years by a certified home inspector can help detect leaks and prevent expensive repairs and/or health issues.
2. According to Sierra Club, radon kills about 20,000 Americans each year. Radon causes lung cancer and is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind cigarettes. Radon comes from decaying uranium that can be found in most soils in the US, however it is more prevalent in some areas than others. Radon is in the air naturally and is not considered a health hazard unless trapped inside a home. Radon leaks can cause high levels of radon to be inhaled and can then become a problem.
3. Asbestos – most people don’t give it much thought anymore with new homes being built, but older homes – pre-1970’s – may still have asbestos. If you’re considering construction on an older home, be sure to have it inspected for asbestos before beginning construction, as it can cause lung cancer and other fatal diseases. Asbestos will need to be removed by experts and disposed of in an area that specifically deals with asbestos.
4. Lead-based paint – while the US no longer sells lead-based paints, many products coming from foreign countries, such as China, still use lead in their paints because it is less expensive. Lead based paints are a real concern when ingested or if the dust of lead based paints is ingested and can cause lead poisoning, according to the Sierra Club. Products can be anything from wood trim around baseboards or ceilings or baby cribs.
Having a home inspection every few years can make sure your house remains a healthy, happy place to live. Health hazards from homes are fairly rare, but preventing them will end up saving money, time and headaches in the future.