Home should be the place you feel safest, but some people don’t realise that they’re living with dangers lurking in the walls. Here are a few hidden health hazards to be wary of in your home.
Asbestos is a material that was once commonly used in construction for its insulating and fire-proof qualities. It’s since been discovered to be a health hazard – breathing in particles of asbestos can lead to respiratory problems including a cancer known as mesothelioma. Asbestos is generally not dangerous unless it is disturbed. A disturbance could be something as simple as drilling a hole in a wall that contains asbestos, so it could be worth getting this material removed if you suspect your home may contain it. A professional asbestos removal company will be able to inspect and remove it for you.
Many household paints used to contain lead until it was found that lead was poisonous when ingested. Like asbestos, this isn’t likely to be a danger unless the paint is disturbed, however all it takes is a tiny fleck of paint to be consumed (if you have infants or pets it could be a particular concern). You can buy a lead test kit to check for lead in your walls. Professionals should be hired when removing this paint.
VOCs are a chemical found in many modern paints that contribute to that fresh new paint smell. Such chemicals can lead to nervous system issues and organ problems making them a real danger. Such paints are most dangerous when they are still wet, however chemicals can be released into the air slowly for years afterwards. Professionals will be able to remove this paint for you – opting for low-VOC or no VOC paints could be a better option when repainting your home.
Mold is a fungus that commonly grows in damp conditions. It is found in many older homes that are unventilated. Breathing in mold can lead to respiratory problems – it’s been linked to allergies and is thought to be a leading cause of Legionnaires. Mold can be easily removed with a dry cloth, but in serious cases you may want to hire professionals to do a mold inspection. To prevent mold growth in your home, consider taking steps to ventilate your home such as opening windows or fitting extractor fans. A dehumidifier may also be able to prevent mold growth.
Faulty electrics can also be a danger that can go undetected. Wiring that is old and worn or amateurishly fitted could pose a fire risk. Danger signs to look out for could include constant tripped fuses, heat from sockets or burning smells from sockets or light fixtures. Always hire a qualified electrician when repairing these faulty electrics.
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