Most of us think of our home as a safe haven, but what if there were hidden dangers lurking in the walls that you didn’t know about. Many older properties were built long before many of today’s health and safety regulations – certain materials and features that are now deemed dangerous may have been assumed safe at the time. If You live in an older home, here are just a few hazards that could be worth looking into to help protect your health.
As many of us already know, lead is poisonous. Many older homes still contain lead paint – although it’s production was banned in 1978, no laws were passed to get rid of it from homes. Lead paint will only be a danger if you ingest or inhale a fleck of it. For this reason, pets and infants are most at risk. That said, there’s always a chance lead particles could go into the air whilst drilling into a wall coated with lead paint or accidentally scraping it. You can test for lead with a special testing kit – there are many specialist professionals who can then remove it for you.
Wiring has a come a long way. Whilst most of today’s wiring is pretty safe, many older methods are less trustworthy. A look into the history of electrical wiring can show you just how many different types of wiring there have been. The most original forms of wiring such as knob and tube wiring were abandoned in the early half of the 20th Century, but there are still many homes that contain this style of wiring – such wiring has proven since to be very dangerous, often causing fires and electrical shocks as the result of the rubber sheath degrading. If you suspect you have this type of wiring in your home, you should consider hiring an electrician to get it made safe.
Old homes are often more susceptible to mold. This could be due to damp from leaky pipes, a lack of a damp proof course or general wear and tear to walls and roofing allowing moisture to get in. Mold isn’t just unsightly – exposure to large amounts of it can be dangerous and can cause diseases such as legionnaire’s. To prevent mold, keep your home well ventilated and consider buying a dehumidifier. You may also be able to make modifications such as fitting a damp proof course or upgrading a roof to prevent damp getting in.
Radon is a gas that naturally comes up through the earth. It’s most common in older homes with unsealed foundations and little ventilation. You can buy a radon testing kit to check the levels in your home. Sealing the ground and keeping your home ventilated could help to reduce radon levels.
When many think of dangerous construction materials, asbestos often comes to mind. Once heralded as a miracle material for it’s fire-proof and insulating properties, asbestos has since proven to be dangerous with exposure leading to mesothelioma. Like lead paint, this material is generally only dangerous if disturbed and ingested. You’re best hiring professionals to remove asbestos rather than attempting to remove it yourself.