What’s lurking in your home that could put you or your family at risk? Most people put a lot of time into cleaning and maintaining their homes. Yet, unless you have had a home energy assessment that looks at the hidden and oftentimes unthought-of risks, you can’t be too confident. Keep in mind that some of these risks occur even in homes that are newer, very well taken care of, and well-loved.
The Risk of Mold
There is perhaps no bigger risk in many homes than mold. When mold spores develop, they can easily spread through your home’s HVAC system, from one room to the next. Here’s a simple example. Let’s say there is a leak in the basement bathroom. You find it, take care of it, and think all is well. Yet, behind the drywall, mold began to grow. Over time, it continued to flourish, even though you didn’t see it. It got into your HVAC system and spread not just in the basement, but through your entire home.
During a home energy assessment, it’s possible to detect mold. You may also recognize its presence if you have a family member that’s coughing or wheezing often. Some people are much more at risk of developing health complications. Learn more about mold’s risk from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Asbestos Behind the Walls
Asbestos is a high-risk substance most people don’t know about and are less likely to notice in their homes. This material was used in homes built before 1980. This material is dangerous to breathe in because it lodges itself deep in the lungs. Over time, this creates irreversible lung damage and can lead to the development of a type of cancer called mesothelioma that is highly lethal. The Mesothelioma Center reports that about 90,000 die annually on a global scale from this material.
Asbestos tends to be used in home building materials. If your home was built before 1980, it is important to have your home tested for the presence of asbestos.
Lead Paint Presence
Another high-risk health hazard lurking in many homes is lead paint. When present, it can lead to lead poisoning, which is a significant risk factor for development and growth in children. Lead-based paints were not uncommon for many years. In 1978, new federal laws restricted the use of lead-based paints in homes. Yet, many homes built prior to this will still contain the material. If you are doing any type of renovating or updating to your home, this can expose those living there to lead.
Small children tend to be at the highest risk because they put things into their mouths. As long as the paint is sealed and does not chip, it doesn’t tend to cause problems. But a small amount of lead paint put into the mouth of a child can be highly dangerous.
Carbon Monoxide – A Silent Killer
High CO in a home is very dangerous. Carbon monoxide is a type of gas that is emitted into the air. It does not have any coloring to it. It is impossible to smell. This is what makes it a silent killer. If carbon monoxide is leaking into your home – such as from a broken dryer vent or another power source – it can fill the air in your home quickly. If you or your family are exposed to it for any length of time, it can slow the heart and stop breathing, leading to fatalities.
A carbon monoxide detector is the best tool for detecting its presence. You will also learn about high-risk areas during a home energy assessment.
Knob and Tube Wiring
Sometimes called K&T, knob and tube wiring was one method of wiring buildings often used during the early 1900s. It is no longer used but is still a bit home hazard for many properties built during this time.
When present, there is a high-risk that problems occur, especially if an unlicensed professional tries to modify it. This can cause electrical risks, including shock and fire risks. Over time, it will wear down and create an increased risk of these problems.
How to stay prepared?
The more you know about your home’s health hazards, the better prepared you are to do something about it. Work closely with our team to undergo a home energy assessment to locate any of these or other risks. Sign up for a no-cost home energy assessment today!