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Choosing a Home Inspection Company for Environmental Testing

November 6th, 2009

Choosing a home inspection company carefully for environmental testing is important because you are testing for the existence of hazardous substances that adversely affect the health and well-being of your family.

For radon testing, look for certified radon testers at neha.org, the web site of the National Environmental Health Association, or at nrsb.org, the web site of the National Radon Safety Board.

Radon, which can cause cancer, is a radioactive gas found in every house. The amount of radon inside a house should not exceed 4 picocuries per liter. You can call the EPA hotline for drinking water about testing radon in water.

For information on lead, you can call the National Lead Clearinghouse. Many houses constructed before 1978 have paints containing lead, which can harm children and babies. Your inspector will use either a chemical test, which is cheaper, or a radioactive device, which is a very expensive equipment.

Asbestos can be found in insulation materials and other building products used for houses built before the 1970s. But generally, asbestos materials are not harmful if they are in good condition because they do not release fibers that you can inhale. Any asbestos material that shows damage such as abrasion, tearing or water damage must be removed by a home inspection company experienced in removing asbestos materials.

Carbon monoxide testing is among the cheapest types of environmental testing, so many home inspectors oftentimes offer this testing for free to attract clients. Carbon monoxide, which arises from combustion, should be vented properly from a house because this gas can kill. Since this gas is odorless and invisible, it can only be sensed by an electronic carbon monoxide detector.

There are only a few home inspectors that provide full septic inspections, so make sure you are hiring an inspection company that also perform complete septic inspections. For initial testing, some inspectors overload the system with large amounts of water and put some dye to spot leakages and check for odors.

Professional septic inspectors, on the other hand, make diggings to inspect the tank and the leaching field. If you are buying an old house, ask the seller to empty the septic tank so you do not need to worry about septic-related problems.

When choosing a home inspection company, choose one which provides standard house inspection services in addition to the specialized environmental testing that you need so you can reduce your total inspection costs.

Home Inspection

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