5 Home Inspection Hazards to Look Out For
1. Lead is a highly toxic metal that has in the past been used for home products. Lead causes health problems such as seizures and can cause behavioral problems and learning disabilities. The most common sources of lead in the home include lead-based paints, lead contaminated soil and lead contaminated dust. Lead might be present in houses built in the 1940s as by then the effects of lead in homes was not widely known. Lead can also enter the water after the plumbing system begins to erode. Home inspectors advice homeowners on how to deal with such problems.
2. Mold is among the most common environmental hazards in any home. It can be found both inside and outside the house. There are at least 1000 different species of mold. It is mostly found in basements, bathrooms and other damp areas. Exposure to mold for long periods can worsen conditions such as asthma and hay fever. It is important to not only eradicate the mold but to also correct the underlying water problem. The home inspector can identify the water damage to be fixed.
3. Asbestos was used in the past to strengthen products and make them resistant to fire and for heat insulation. Asbestos materials crumble easily and when disturbed, asbestos fibres are released and inhaled in the home. Breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres increases the chances of lung cancer infection. Houses likely to have materials made of asbestos are those built between 1930 and 1950. Most products today do not contain asbestos but you should have a professional determine whether there is any asbestos material in your house for safety reasons.
4. Radon, a radioactive gaseous element produced when radium disintegrates, cannot be detected by the senses. The existence of this material can only be confirmed using sophisticated instruments and tests. Radon causes lung cancer and hence it is recommended that all houses be tested for radon. The gas enters the house through cracks on floorboards and poorly ventilated crawl spaces.
5. Insects such as termites cause a lot of damage to houses if not detected and eliminated early enough. Termites are used to recycle plant material and wood but become hazardous when they attack lumber used in constructing the house. Once termites are detected by the house inspector, the house should be immediately treated. Another insect that feeds on wood is the wood-boring beetle larvae. These larvae leave small holes in the wood making the wood weak. All lumber used for construction should be treated to avoid these problems.
A home inspection is important before moving into a new house. You should also carry out a home inspection once in a while to ensure you do not experience these environmental hazards.