Was your home built before 1978? You might be exposing yourself and your family to harmful lead poisoning.
That’s why below I’ve listed some of the most important and frequently asked questions about lead paint. Under the questions, you’ll find honest-to-goodness answers. After you’re finished reading this article, you’ll know the facts about lead hazards and how to protect your family.
Q: Approximately how many homes in the U.S. are affected by lead paint hazards
A: According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), 5 out of every 7 homes are affected. This is especially true of homes built before 1978.
Q: What if I want to buy or rent a home? Are homeowners and landlords obligated to tell me that their property contains lead paint before I purchase the home or sign a lease?
A: Yes. Landlords must disclose known information about lead paint based hazards before the lease takes effect. A seller must do the same thing. A new homeowner has up to 10 days to check for lead hazards in their new home. If a lead hazard is found within the 10 days, the new homeowner can potentially hold the previous homeowner responsible for the lead removal.
Q: How do people absorb lead into their body?
A: FACT: One out of every eleven children has dangerous levels of lead in their bloodstream. Lead can get into the bloodstream if people touch lead-based objects with their hands, inhale lead dust (during renovations, etc.), eat lead-based paint chips (children), and handle soil that has high levels of lead.Q: What are the health effects of lead poisoning?
A: Lead paint can do damage to the brain and nervous system. It can also cause behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and headaches in children. There can also be reproductive problems in men and women, digestive and memory problems, and muscle and joint pain. In occasional instances, lead poisoning has even been linked to death.
Q: How can I check to see if my family and I have lead in our bloodstream?
A: A simple blood test will tell. Any physician can perform the test and will explain the results. The test is inexpensive and sometimes free. Treatment will range from a change in diet, medication, or even hospital stay in some severe cases.
Q: How can I get my home checked for lead paint?
A: There are many companies that will check your home for lead-based hazards. You may want to check the yellow pages for a business that specializes in lead hazard testing and removal. Or, you can purchase a home testing kit. The home testing kits are moderately priced and can be purchased at your local home improvement store.
Many homeowners consider only the size of the tank when choosing a new water heater – all-the-while ignoring the energy factor and other efficiency measures that could cost big money in the long run.
The first decision in purchasing a new water heater is the fuel source. A natural gas unit will cost less to operate than an electric unit; the price difference (usually about $50) can be paid back in energy savings in just a few months. Even if you have six teenagers, you may not need a large capacity unit.But instead of concentrating on size, start by estimating how much hot water your family uses during the busiest hour – morning showers, for example. Here are the average gallons of hot water per use: Bath or long shower – 8 to 10 gallons, dishwasher – 8 to 10 gallons, clothes washer – 7 gallons, personal use – 4 gallons.
When was the last time you cleaned your thermostat coil? One year ago…five years ago…you’re asking, “what the heck is a thermostat coil??
Your thermostat regulates your home heating and cooling system. When the coil inside the thermostat cover is dirty and dusty it won’t give an accurate reading. The dust interferes with the coil’s ability to sense temperature changes. Room temperature changes make the coil curl and uncurl, thus activating your heating or cooling unit to turn on or off.Here’s how to easily clean your thermostat coil. Simply remove the thermostat cover and clean the coil by blowing away the dust or gently wiping it away with a cotton swab. If you have a clock or timer thermostat, make sure to replace the batteries twice a year.
Real Estate Question Corner…
Q: Why should I consider getting pre-approved before buying a home?
A: Years ago, buyers didn’t worry about financing their home purchase until after they found the home they wanted to buy. Once they had an accepted offer, they’d shop around for a week or so and then submit a loan application.
The recent low inventory of homes for sale (in general) has made home buying highly competitive in some areas. To compete, many buyers are now getting pre-approved for a mortgage. This way, the buyer is seen as more stable, has greater influence in negotiating a purchase price, and can act quickly when they find a home the really love. A pre-approved home buyer is considered almost as strong as a cash buyer.There are 2 parts to mortgage approval: 1) approval of the borrower, and 2) approval of the property. Mortgage pre-approval is a process whereby the borrower is approved for a specific mortgage amount. The approval is usually good for a period of time. A property approval is one with satisfactory appraisal and a clear title report. Final mortgage approval also requires a purchase agreement that is signed by the buyer and the seller.
My analysis will take only about 45 minutes of your time…time I promise will be well worth it. It’s a special Free service I provide to my clients and close friends. To schedule your Home Audit at a time convenient to you, please call my direct line at 815-394-1823.