Dangers of Lead Paint and Lead Pipes

Lead is a highly dangerous compound that can have detrimental effects on both humans and structures.  In the majority of modern houses, lead-based paints are no longer used; however, there are older homes that still present with lead paint in some areas of the residence.  Of course, many of the older properties have replaced or covered this lead paint with less dangerous substances, but some still have traces of lead.  According to US federal legislation, estate agents or property sellers must provide knowledge of lead hazards to prospective buyers of any house built before 1978.  The buyer should consider their options before making final a final purchase decision.  This article will provide information on the dangers that a buyer should consider when dealing with lead paint or pipes.

What Is The Primary Danger Of Lead-Based Living?

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning, also known as the “silent disease,” is the result of contact or exposure to lead-based paint or pipes. It affects humans slowly without displaying any initial symptoms. However repeated exposure has been known to cause problems in sleep patterns, headaches, memory loss, constipation, anemia, and abdominal pains.

Lead poisoning is most commonly found in young children because they are prone to placing objects or fingers in their mouth.  Toxicity is relatively rare after single exposures, but ingestion can result in high toxicity and extreme lead poisoning.

If not removed from the area of lead exposure and experiencing prolonged lead poisoning, the long-term consequences can be dire.  Lead poisoning leads to chronic damage to the nervous system, brain damage, learning disabilities, interruptions in development, miscarriages, convulsions, and even death.

What Can Contribute To Lead Poisoning?

1. Lead-based Paints

Statistics show that approximately 90% of North American homes built before the 1950s will contain lead-based paint.  Exposure to this paint is dangerous in the form of chipping where paint chips fall to the ground and can be inhaled or, in the case of children, placed into their mouth.  Of course, it is not only the paint chips that can cause health problems.  Both children and adults are at risk from the dust resulting from normal friction around window frames and door jambs.  This dust is created when surfaces are scratched and is easily inhaled by any individual exposed to it.

2. Lead Pipes

Lead piping is another health hazard that must be considered as lead pipes were commonly used for household plumbing.  The lead softened pipes making them easier to bend by hand, thus simpler to repair.  Unfortunately, the lead in the tube would infiltrate the water and contaminate the water supply to the residents of the house.

When modern copper pipes were introduced, the lead pipe was eliminated; however, some older houses opted to solder lead pipes to modern copper pipes using molten lead.  Furthermore, molten lead was also used to seal the joints in the iron pipes that carried waste to the sewers.  This maintained the amount of lead in the water despite new copper piping being laid down and increasing the amount of lead poisoning.

Final Words

As can be seen, lead poisoning is the primary problem when dealing with lead-based paint and pipes.   Hire a health inspector to ensure the home is safe and use water filters to remove lead from tap water.  Of course, the ultimate solution is the replace all piping with safer materials.

What Are The Dangers Of Radon?

A radioactive gas, radon is naturally produced when uranium starts decaying. It is possible to be exposed to radon if you drink well water or if there is radon present in the ground in the area where you live. Radon is dangerous because breathing air with high radon concentrations significantly increases your risks of developing lung cancer.

Damages Cells

Radon is a dangerous gas because it causes damages to your cells. You are in danger of developing lung cancer if you live in a home with high radon levels. Smokers are at even greater risk of the combined damage of smoking with breathing air that contains high radon levels represent a serious health hazard.
Indoor air with high radon levels is especially dangerous if you have young children because they are more sensitive to the damages caused by this gas. Children who are exposed to high radon levels are more at risk for some respiratory conditions and have higher chances of developing lung cancer later in life.
Exposure to high levels of radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among Americans who do not smoke. It is estimated that over 20,0000 of individuals die from a lung cancer that was caused by exposure to radon every year.

Invisible and Odorless

Radon is dangerous because you will not notice that there are high radon levels in the air you breathe. This gas has no odors, and you will not notice any immediate side effects caused by exposure to radon. You might live for years in a home with high radon levels without realizing that it is affecting your health.

Water Contamination

Radon is also dangerous because it can be present in the water you drink. You need to have well water tested regularly. If you drink tap water, you should know that the water in your area might contain high radon levels if this gas can be found in the soil.

What if You Suspect Radon?

The best thing to do is to have your home tested for radon. There is no way of knowing how much of this dangerous gas you are breathing in until you have some tests done. It is possible to reduce your exposure to this gas by making a few changes to your home.

Fixing a radon problem is actually not too complicated.  Check out this video to see how it is corrected.

You should also consider quitting smoking since the combination of cigarette smoke and radon can be disastrous for your health. You should also know that second-hand smoke can be even more devastating when it is combined with radon.

Have your home and well water tested for radon if you think you might be exposed to this gas. Making a few changes to your home and quitting smoking will dramatically improve the quality of the air you breathe and will reduce your chances of developing lung cancer. This is especially important if you have children or elderly since they are most sensitive to radon.  Contact us today.

Top Reasons To Hire A Professional Home Inspector

Purchasing a home can be a very exciting event for any person; however, it does come with some stress and anxiety.  When buying a home, there are various points to take into account to ensure you are receiving a good deal and not being scammed.  Unlike rental properties, home purchasing requires a personal home inspection before any contracts are signed.  It is possible to complete an independent home inspection where you check the building by yourself, but this is not ideal as you may not have the correct knowledge for a successful investigation.  An adequate investigation often calls for a trained inspector.  This article will provide information on the top reasons to hire a licensed home inspector.

What Is A Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a review of various aspects of the home to check that the building is “up to scratch.”  It involves the completion of a home inspection checklist as an inspector goes through the house detailing any problems.  Once the list is completed, a report is drafted as an official document of structural soundness.

Why Is A Professional Home Inspector Recommended?

1. Peace Of Mind

Purchasing a new home can be a very expensive transaction and may be one of the largest purchases any individual will make in their lifetime.  We highly recommend an inspection to ensure that this investment is a sound one with no risk.  It may be easier to disregard the check, but this small activity will provide peace of mind by reducing any unnecessary stress.  An inspection will ensure that the house, and your investment, is stable and safe.

2. Cost-Effective

Contrary to popular belief, the cost of a professional home inspection is not very high.  Typically fees will differ according to the house size, but the average rate will range between $400 and $600.  As buying a house is quite a significant investment, it may be worth considering that a small fee will be worth gaining peace of mind at a cost-effective rate.  If you prefer to complete the inspection independently, you may be required to contact a professional anyway if you become confused or find problems you’re unable to resolve. This wastes time and is an additional expenditure and is this something you want to avoid.

3. Identifying Pest Problems

In addition to safety hazards and structural problems, the professional home inspector will be able to identify and resolve present pest problems.  Various types of infestations can occur, and they can arise in any area of the home.  A trained professional will have knowledge of these parasites and will be able to manage the problem efficiently.  Furthermore, he or she will provide recommendations for preventative measures that will reduce any future infestations.

4.  Required for Financing

In many cases, a home inspection will be required by the lender or the insurance company before they will participate in the transaction.  If they want to protect their investment, shouldn’t you?

Final Words On The Matter

As can be seen, the home inspection is a highly recommended aspect in the process of purchasing a home. Contact us today to schedule your slot.