We all want to stay as healthy as possible, so we eat well, we exercise, and look for methods of stress relief other than what’s in the wine cupboard! However, there are many environmental factors which can have a major impact on the state of our health. While old homes are often bursting with rustic character, they can also be terrible for our health. If you live in an old home, here are some dangers to be aware of…
According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly all homes built before the year 1940 contain at least some traces of lead. When lead-based paint is solid, whether on the inside or the outside of the home, it’s relatively harmless provided that it isn’t ingested. Furthermore, the majority of older homes will have their interior walls covered many times with safer latex-based paint. The main thing to worry about is when paint on the exterior siding peels and crumbles off, as the particles can become airborne, or simply fall into the grass where they can be ingested by toddlers or pets. If you’ve got lead paint on your exterior siding, remove it completely, rather than going through the work of stripping off layer after layer of paint.
Asbestos is another serious threat that can be found in old homes, and causes harm when its tiny fibres break off, get into the air and are inhaled into the lungs. It can cause a range of serious health conditions, including lung cancer. There’s no shortage of attorneys for mesothelioma cases too, mainly due to the widespread use of asbestos as a building material through much of the 20th century. Although exposure to asbestos can be deadly, a lot of buildings still contain it and manage to be relatively harmless. Asbestos will only pose a health risk if it’s friable, and getting into the air that you breathe. If a piece of asbestos isn’t worn, frayed, or otherwise damaged, then it’s nothing to worry about. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re living in a home that was built before the seventies, and you’re not sure if there’s any asbestos, it may be worth hiring a home inspector in to carry out a risk assessment.
Mold may not be the biggest health hazard ever to enter a home, but it certainly isn’t something you should overlook. Damp, indoor areas, such as the floor, walls and carpets, provide an ideal environment for mold spores to settle and cultivate. These spores are invisible to the naked eye, but can easily be whipped into the air and float around on the wind. Old homes are more susceptible to getting a problem with mold, as many of them aren’t properly sealed. Mold tends to grow wherever condensation occurs, typically in the leaky areas of the house. Long-term exposure to mold can cause respiratory diseases, and allergies are very common. After finding and removing mold, pin down the source and seal it up!