How To Protect Yourself And Your Family From Potentially Deadly Lead Paint Hazards


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.

Choosing The Right Water Heater Can Save A Bundle On Energy Costs

Kitchen Faucet

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.

Here’s An E-A-S-Y Energy Saving Tip

Yellow Lamp

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.

Headline Hijinks

Sometimes headlines found in newspapers and magazines can say more than intended.  Here’s a selection of headlines with…well, you tell me…

·   Lingerie Shipment Highjacked – Thief Gives Police The Slip

·   Patient At Death’s Door – Doctors Pull Him Through

·   March Planned For Next August

·   Diaper Market Bottom’s Out

·   Queen Mary Having Bottom Scraped

·   Women’s Movement Called More Broad-Based

·   Prostitutes Appeal To Pope

·   Autos Killing 110 A Day – Let’s Resolve To Do Better

Useful Phrases To Use At Work

It always happens.  You’re looking for the perfect retort to a dim-witted co-worker, and it comes to you.  Problem is, it’s long after the opportunity has gone.  Here are a few phrases that might help you make your point at the office:

·   I don’t work here – I’m a consultant.

·   Thank you.  We’re refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

·   I’ll try being nicer, if you’ll try being smarter.

·   I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.

·   The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.

·   I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.

·   I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.

·   Some day, we’ll look back on this, laugh nervously, and change the subject.

Random Thoughts On Stress…

I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are: eating too much, impulse buying and driving too fast.  Are they kidding?  That’s my definition of a perfect day!


If You’ve Got Questions, Web Site Has Answers!

If you’ve got a question about most anything, just ask Abuzz.  What is Abuzz?  Abuzz is a knowledge network where real people ask questions and give answers about things that really matter.  You can ask questions, see what other participants are asking, or join Circles and share what you know.  There is an array of topics from which to choose.  You can find Abuzz at “” 

Bumper Sticker Chuckles...

Here are some recent sightings:

·   Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway

·   Body by Nautilus, Brain By Mattel

·   Boldly Going Nowhere

·   CAUTION: Driver Legally Blond

·   I’m An Imbecile And I Vote

·   If You Lived In your Car, You’d Be Home By Now

·   Forget World Peace, Visualize Using Your Turn Signal


·   Smile, It’s The Second Best Thing You Can Do With Your Lips

Helpful Hints Make Homemaking Easier…

Throughout history, people have discovered tricks that can make life in the kitchen easier.  Here are a few that have been passed down:

·   Stuff a marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips…

·   Use a meat baster to squeeze your pancake batter onto a hot griddle and you’ll get perfectly shaped cakes every time…

·   To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag where the potatoes are stored…

·   To prevent eggs from cracking, add a pinch of salt tot he water before hard boiling…

To get more juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing

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