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Home Inspection Guidelines for Toxic Substances

Toxic Substances

When you hear the words “home inspection”, the first thing that comes into your mind is an inspection of the home’s structural elements, roof and attic, plumbing, electrical, systems and components such as air conditioning and duct work. These are some of the common items included in a home inspection checklist.

Home inspections can vary from state to state. And a standard home inspection does not include a toxic substance inspection, including lead, radon, asbestos and water.

However, a toxic substance inspection cannot be done by just any home inspector. A specific license is required to inspect toxic substances. Therefore, you must find an inspector who is qualified to conduct a toxic substance inspection.

Some common toxic substances to be included on a home inspection checklist are:

  • Radon – is a gas from the earth that passes gradually through cracks or foundation of the house. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon has been attributed to almost 22,000 deaths annually. It adds that continuous exposure to radon can damage your lung tissue and may cause lung cancer. Some ways to fix radon emissions are installing air systems that absorb the gas and sealing the cracks.
  • Asbestos – this substance is especially common in old houses. It is an airborne fiber not visible to the naked eye that is absorbed through the mouth or nose. Like radon, asbestos can also cause lung cancer.
  • Lead – this toxic substance is also common in older homes. High level of lead in either water or paint has been linked to physical and mental development problems. A major source of lead poisoning for children is lead-based paint. If you are purchasing a home constructed before the 1980s, it is a must that you have it tested for lead.

If your home tested positive of lead presence in high levels, you can have the lead-based paint removed or seal the wall with plaster board.

Conducting a home inspection to check for toxic substances may be time consuming and expensive, but in the end, is worth paying for.

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