Hazards that Pose a Health Risk in New Homes
Buying a house is an exciting and exhausting process. From the search for a house of your dreams to the start of the next chapter in your new home, the road is not that long but requires a lot of work. Enchanted by the first impression and affordability, we often oversee other potential problems that come with buying a property.
This refers to hazards that pose a health risk in new homes. To avoid additional costs for fixes and renovations, as well as protect your health, a detailed inspection is imperative before purchasing the property.
The importance of inspecting a house before buying
Simple visual assessments can determine many structural and health risk factors. This check-out can spot clues to some of the health hazards in our potential property, but not all of them. For a more detailed check, you might want to consider hiring a licensed inspector to do it. It will cost some extra money, but nothing is more valuable than the well-being of your family.
Health should always come first, and leading a healthy lifestyle will ensure you have a long and quality life. After deciding on places you want to buy, inspect some of the most common hazards, such as:
- Presence of mould and moisture,
- Ventilation system and combustion sources,
- Pest infestation,
- Lead hazards,
- Structural issues.
Most of it is visible by basic visual examination, but some of them, like structural issues, require an inspection from professional services.
Mould, moisture, and ventilation system
From the probability of gas leaking to airing the rooms, a good ventilation system is of the utmost importance. Having the possibility to air odors from cooking, smoke, moisture, and any pollutants will help to remove some of the potential hazards that pose a health risk in new homes.
This is especially important when it comes to accumulating humidity and moisture in the rooms. By reducing condensation, you can control the creation of mould and mildew formations. Therefore, finding ways to remove allergens from our homes is vital.
Besides causing structural damage to your walls and wood supports, mould affects your health too. More prolonged exposure to it causes coughing, nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, different eyes, skin conditions like hay fever, and hypersensitivity.
Ways to check for possible mould and ventilation problems when considering buying a property:
- Look for discoloured stains on walls and ceilings,
- Check under the sinks, and possible plumbing leaks,
- Make sure that downspouts and gutters are functional,
- Determine if air conditioning is operative,
- Check out the attic and basement constructions for any moisture,
- Condensation on windows in cold weather is not a good sign,
- Don’t forget to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Pest infestation consequences
When looking for a new house, it’s always good to ask about previous owners and the living conditions of your future home. This is an often-underestimated step when it comes to property purchase. The cleanliness and hygiene of the previous owner will determine the current state of the house.
Maintenance, disinfection, and pest control are crucial for areas where we prepare our food. Make sure your new residence is clean and without any gaps between windows, doors, or any clutter in the backyard. Clutter and garbage attract all kinds of rodents and insects that may carry various diseases.
Still, this problem doesn’t only refer to mice, rats, and cockroaches in the households. Small insects, like termites, can cause a lot of structural damage to the construction as well. Therefore, if you notice some termite frass on the floors, door frames, and wooden surfaces, you can be sure termites are there.
If being bitten by a spider or termites, you will experience painful itching, burning, swelling, or smaller allergy manifestation. But also, insects like cockroaches and termites can be responsible for severe allergic reactions with people living with asthma.
Lead presence can be very dangerous for our health
Lead is a highly toxic material that affects our whole body system. Keeping in mind that homes built before 1978 often used lead wall paints and lead pipes, you should do additional research if buying an older property. And even though the lead content was much lower in the ’70s, the walls still contain a significant amount of it, which could cause health issues through ingesting or inhaling the dust that surrounds treated surfaces.
Lead can accumulate in our bodies for months, and the symptoms may wary from joint muscle pains, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, headaches, and mood disorders. In further stages of lead poisoning, pregnant women might experience miscarriages or premature childbirth.
However, since 1992, the Lead Law requires that any seller or buyer needs to be aware of a lead presence in real estate and warn potential buyers about it. Hence, if you’re having doubts about it, consider hiring a licensed risk assessor. The first, most obvious sign that should warn you about the lead presence in your new home is peeling, chipping, or loose paint on the walls. If you notice such issues, make sure to address the problem and ask for a professional opinion.
Hazards that pose a health risk in new homes should be addressed properly
Moving to a new home can be quite stressful without having to worry about health hazards. Therefore, finding ways to feel relaxed during the process is out of utmost importance. You should always start with making a detailed plan for your move and hiring reliable movers from the area. If you notice a problem after moving in, make sure to take steps and prevent any possible risk and extra expenses.
All of the possible hazards that pose a health risk in new homes could be lurking in your current house as well. However, this shouldn’t discourage and scare you when buying your dream house. The only advice we can offer you is to perform a detailed inspection that could prevent any possible health issue in the future, and save a lot of money as well.
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