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Check Lead and Asbestos Presence Before Buying Older Homes

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By : Fredrica Smith    99 or more times read
Many home buyers are enticed with older homes because these properties have great structure, facade, design and integrity. These homes foster durability may be due to the materials used in building them. Asbestos and lead are two ingredients that possess many practical physical attributes suitable for long-lasting building. On the other hand, health problems were later on discovered to be brought about by lead and asbestos. As a present home buyer, it is your responsibility to seek proper measures in determining whether these elements are existent in the old home you are looking into.

A lot of residential unit developers and builders from early 1900s to late 1970s were convinced to use materials containing lead and asbestos. Lead was a common ingredient for paints, drying agents and external coverings of roofing joints because of its qualities of malleability and corrosion resistance. Asbestos was used in cement, flat sheet, shingles, pipes, vinyl tiles, flooring felt and some paints for textured painting. This mineral is known to maintain proper insulation and slow down fire.

Despite the wonderful construction attributes these elements have, they pose health problems as well. Lead can trigger many undesirable conditions for people. Once this is inhaled or ingested, the blood stream will be poisoned. And lead poisoning can lead to poor mental, nerve and motor functioning and permanent learning and behavioral disorders. A pregnant woman also endangers the normal growth of the fetus once she is exposed to lead. Abdominal pain, headache and anemia are common symptoms of lead poisoning.

Asbestos is commonly associated with respiratory problems such as lung cancer, Mesothelioma and asbestosis. The second condition refers to the cancer of the mesothelial lining of the lungs and chest cavity, abdominal cavity or a sac surrounding the heart. The third one is the scarring of the lung tissue which can later on affect lung dysfunction.

Older homes with these elements still pose risks until today. This is because the lead and asbestos content in the materials can be scattered as dust particles or through microscopic bacterial fibers. Thus, a lot of countries have implemented total bans and/or usage and manufacturing regulations regarding lead and asbestos in home products and building materials. Other measures like here in the US instigate proper management and assessment of lead and asbestos presence in older homes. Government bodies such as US Environment Protection Agency and Housing and Urban Development strongly advise home buyers and owners to hire professionals who would conduct inspections and testing of home areas. Expert services are required as these elements need specific equipment for detection. These are invisible to the naked eye, cannot be smelled or tasted.

Once the inspections present alarming traces of lead and/or asbestos, the affected areas should be immediately removed and replaced. Eco-friendly alternative materials from non-toxic renewable natural resources are available. Cotton fiver, lycnene foam and cellulose are green materials that can be used to replace insulation, piping, siding or roofing materials that contain asbestos or lead. While you are augmenting the healthy environment in the property, using green substitutes may mean financial gains for you as well. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, home owners who purchase such materials can be rewarded with tax incentives.

Upon gaining the knowledge about the health hazards and measures you can do regarding lead and asbestos presence, you can definitely have a better experience buying, owning and maintaining an older home.
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