Looking into buying an old home? Or you already have grown up in one and decide to raise your family in the same home you have grown to love? No problem. Just make sure that it is as safe as any other home built from ground up and surpassing the latest safety and health requirements. Thoroughly check your home for possible toxins you may have not realized you have been living with.
Older homes, specifically those built at least a half or even a quarter of a century ago, are most likely to be painted with lead-based paints. Or even the whole plumbing system must have been built with the use of lead pipes. If copper pipes have been used, then the soldering material may actually be lead. Be sure to have all these checked, and if lead is indeed present, make an appointment for an overhaul.
Lead is dangerous when ingested. It can even enter the body by inhaling small particles. And it does not get cleaned easily. The toxin from lead stays and accumulates in the body until it kills you. Another danger it gives is that it lowers the IQ of children and even full grown adults. Pregnant women are the most vulnerable victims because their babies will come out with a birth defect if they are constantly exposed to lead during their pregnancy.
Walls that have been painted with lead-based paint that have started to chip are extremely dangerous. The chips or particles sloughing off may be inhaled or even accidentally eaten by your family members. Those lead-laced pipes will surely contaminate your water supply, boiling water before drinking it does not help if it is contaminated with lead.
Although not as toxic nor as strictly banned as lead, asbestos still exposes your family members to respiratory problems. Asbestos is used as a construction material in slabs. These slabs are generally not dangerous even if you press your face into it. Asbestos is still used as an insulating material because of its capability to resist sound resonance, heat and even fire. The danger occurs when the material is broken because it will send small particles flying into the air, exposing your lungs to respiratory problems.
The only way to protect your self from asbestos, without relying on other materials that will not live up to the properties of asbestos, is to ensure that there are no broken pieces exposed. Contract a professional contractor to do the disposal or renovations in areas that have asbestos slabs in them. Have another safer panel installed over the asbestos to cover it, to reduce your chances of exposure.
Take heed though, lead and asbestos are not the only things that make your home potentially dangerous. Watch out for molds, radon, leaking tanks and faulty electrical wirings. Make your home, even if it is old, a safer place. A home should not only be able to protect you from the outside forces, but it must be safe enough to live in. Always remember to look for a home that would never become a potential threat to your health.
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