If you are purchasing a fixer upper, it can be exciting to fix it up, and imagine what it is going to look like one day. Before you purchase the house, however, call a professional to make sure it is safe to work in. For example, it could have asbestos, lead, and a cracked foundation that can be dangerous for you.
Asbestos is a fibrous material that is not dangerous unless it is disturbed in some way. If you are fixing up an older home, chances are there is asbestos in it. Before you start tearing down walls, etc., hire a professional to come to the home and do an inspection. Asbestos is often found in insulation, as well as some roofing shingles, textured paint, vinyl floor tiles, and coal and oil furnaces. If the inspectors do find asbestos, they can safely remove it from the home.
If you try to remove asbestos yourself, asbestos fibers will be released in the air, and when you breathe them in they are dangerous to your health. According to the United States Environment Protection Agency, asbestos can cause mesothelioma, which is a cancer to the lining of the lung.
Older homes may have lead paint and/or lead plumbing, which can cause lead exposure. This exposure is toxic, especially to children. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, homes built before 1978 are likely to have lead, and this exposure can cause brain damage, as well as damage to vital organs, such as blood, kidneys, and nerves. Lead is often found in paint on the trimming of windows, baseboards, and doors.
You will also find lead in plumbing pipes, which can affect the water supply in the home. Hire a plumber to inspect the piping to make sure it is not made out of lead. If so, he or she should replace all of the plumbing in the home.
Hire a contractor to inspect the foundation to make sure it is not cracked. If so, you should have it repaired before you start doing anything. Cinder and cement blocks were used when making foundations in older homes, and over time they can start to leak and crack. This is especially true if the exterior of these blocks were not sealed.
Now that you have everything checked out and you know the home is safe, you can start the fun part of fixing it up.Share