Is My House Making Me Sick?

DIY Project

Is your house making you sick? We list some of the top issues in your house that's making you sick. Can you relate with any of them?


DIY home improvement hazards lurk in your home and if you’re asking, is my house making me sick? You’ll want to look a little deeper at the home renovation dangers. What’s making you sick in your house?

Completing a home project on your own is always a rewarding feeling. As we get closer to the summer months, homeowners are once again faced with the projects they so delicately placed aside for the winter season.

If you’re not careful, tackling home reno projects can come at a great price. So, it’s important to factor the age of your home into your plans right off the bat.

Depending on the year your home was built, there may be certain unwanted hazards associated with it. But today, I’m only talking about a few common hazards that you may encounter during a home renovation project.

Do hidden DIY dangers lurk in your home? Click to see some common dangers and what you should do about them! #DIY #HomeImprovement

Is My House Making Me Sick?

Below are just a few hazards that could be lurking in and around your home. These projects might not be as DIY-friendly as you initially thought and may require you to call a professional. Because these hazards can make you sick.

Asbestos

Why Did They Use Asbestos in Houses?

Asbestos is a nasty material that has a long standing history with virtually any home built prior to the 1980s.

Before the dangers of asbestos were truly understood, it was regularly used as an ingredient for insulation, tiling, and roofing. Because this material is slow to burn and assisted in the creation of a more durable foundation.

When Did They Stop Using Asbestos?

Although the bulk of the homes built from the 1990s forward don’t have to worry about asbestos, many Americans are still living in homes built from the early 20th century.

Dangers of Asbestos and DIY home improvement.

Often times, we live in homes with asbestos without even knowing or understanding the risks associated with the toxicant. Notably, asbestos becomes dangerous when the microscopic fibers are broken or harmed in any way.

With this in mind, stop and think. Should I perform this project before getting the room tested for asbestos? Because causing asbestos to become airborne and ingested is hazerdous for anyone in close proximity.

The health implications associated with asbestos exposure won’t become present for several years after and may cause an array of health problems including cancer that affects the lining of the lungs.

Lead

Why Was Lead Used in Paint?

Lead was once a common agent in commercial and residential paints. In fact, varying lead compounds were added to create different shades and colors.

Paints with the use of metals helped paint dry at a faster rate. Also, the paint was more durable and had a longer life span than non lead-based paint.

When Did They Stop Using Lead Paint?

However, the negatives of lead quickly outweighed the positives when the EPA deemed the material unsafe, especially for children. So, they banned the use of any lead material in homes from 1978 onward.

DIY At-Home Test Kit »

Renovating dangers, lead paint.

A study shows that the following homes still contain lead paint:

  • 90% of homes built pre-1940s;
  • 80% of homes built pre-1960s; and
  • 62% of properties built pre-1978.

How to Deal With Lead Paint

If you find your home has lead paint, there are a number of guidelines you should follow before getting started on your project. In particular, it’s important not to scrape, sand down or pick off any paint from the walls without proper body gear on.

If your home was built before 1978, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommends a number of ways to maintain your home and keep it safe for everyone who lives there. In fact, inviting a professional to come in and test for lead is a great idea if it hasn’t been done yet.

Then, make sure that both the inside of the home as well as the soil on the surrounding property are inspected.

Radon Gas

Where Does Radon Gas Come From?

Due to naturally decaying uranium in the ground and soil, radon can often present itself in and around the home. However, when present, radon is invisible, leaving no trace of odor, color or taste.

Exposure primarily stems from the basement or foundation of the home as this radioactive gas has the ability to seep through any sized crack. In fact, as many as one in 15 homes will have a radon problem.

Unfortunately, since radon is organically found in the earth, most people will experience exposure to this gas. But it’s still important to check for it. Because radon in the home presents a plethora of issues since the gas is trapped in confined areas.

According to the EPA, prolonged exposure to radon can cause lung cancer in most severe cases.

So, don’t wait to take care of this issue. Before asking, is my house making me sick? Get a homeowner’s radon kit for your home, which includes a test that will take 2-3 days to properly perform or hire a professional.

Homeowner’s Test Kits »

Galvanized Plumbing

Outdated plumbing is another DIY home improvement danger that can make you sick. If you’re living in a house that’s somewhat aged, something commonly overlooked is the skeleton of the plumbing system.

Houses built around the 1950s commonly used galvanized piping. Because these pipes were a cheap option made from steel and covered in a protective coat of zinc to prevent rusting.

Is Galvanized Plumbing Bad?

However, over time, these types of pipes become corroded, creating a poor environment for water to travel through.

It’s common for old galvanized pipes to be the culprit behind discolored water, low pressure, and uneven water distribution throughout the home.

Discovering that your house has an outdated plumbing system is the first step in correcting it.

These days, copper piping is a common alternative, as well as plastic. Regardless of what you choose, it’s important to speak to a professional to see if one might be a better fit then the other.

Copper Plumbing

Why are Copper Pipes Used for Plumbing?

Copper is a great alternative when making the decision to replace your iron piping.

Because it is a healthy, nontoxic substitute that can be more costly, but is non-permeable. That means that the other substances it comes into contact with won’t seep through or cause it to change.

So, copper is a great option if you’re looking for a low maintenance pipe.

Plastic Piping

A plastic or PVC piping is an easier and cheaper alternative to the old school galvanized option. Created from low carbon and recycled plastic, PVC pipes naturally require less energy when used and have a lifespan of 50-70 years.

Most homeowners could make this change today and never have to worry about their home’s plumbing system again.

Before beginning any major projects on your house, practice proper safety protocol. Be aware of the age of the home and issues that may be associated with it.

Hiring a professional to remove issues like asbestos, lead paint, radon, and corroded pipes from your home can help to create a happy and healthy environment. Avoid asking “is my house making me sick?” on your next project! Hire a professional to help!

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