Why You Should Appoint Experts Having Lead Paint Certification for Home Renovation

It is now an established fact that lead paint materials could leave harmful effects on physical health of human beings. After taking the reality into consideration, the federal government has made it mandatory for the professionals working in the lead painting industry to undergo extensive training and obtain lead paint certifications.

The certificates are awarded to those who have successfully completed eight-hour training programs on lead-safe work practices. The course curriculum includes both theory and practical training. Such training sessions are meant to introduce the participants to the harmful effects of lead paint and how to minimize excessive emission of lead dust.

Why to test your home for lead?

As lead causes a severe health disorder, it is important for the home owners to test their homes for lead. Many homeowners are not aware of adverse impacts of lead and so often raise questions over why they will spend on such an inspection. According to the researchers on harmful chemicals, lead is very detrimental to health of both children and adults.

Excessive exposure to the substance could see you suffering from several complications. Lead, in form of dust and paint, is harmful to all, especially under-6 children. Even soil containing lead could be very dangerous to our health. This substance can get into the children’s bodies if they put their fingers on paint, soil or toys containing lead. It is very dangerous for expecting mothers.

If your house was built before 1978, you should hire an expert for lead inspection. Only the certified professionals are capable of such inspection. Remember that the experts need to renew their certificate every five years. The Lead paint refresher program is mandatory for those who want to continue in the same industry.

What qualified lead paint professionals look for during house inspection?

If your house has chipping/peeling paint
If you have any plan to renovate, remodel or repaint your home
If soil in your yard contains lead and if yes, what the percentage is
If you have a child in house, they suggest that you should take him/her for a blood test that will show lead exposure

If your home was built before 1950, it is certain that there is some lead-based paint.

Is it possible for homeowners to determine if lead is present in paint?

Certified renovators are allowed to use an EPA-recognized kit to test lead paint. These inspectors are also known as risk assessors. They use x-ray Fluorescence tools. There are also paint chip sampling tools to test your home for lead.

Conclusion

If you are serious about health of your family members, you need to make sure if your house painting has any lead in it. If lead is detected in test result, you should go for renovation work as early as possible. You should get the work done by only the certified renovators. Before hiring a contractor, ask the person to show his lead paint certification. Next ask him what plans he has to minimize lead emissions during renovation work.

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Home Inspections In 2016

Ah, the dreaded home inspection. For the seller, it can be suspenseful as they wait for the report to come back with any items that need to be fixed. For the buyer, it can mean a piece of mind that everything in the home is in working order and the potential opportunity to negotiate the repairs/ purchase price if anything is turned up during the home inspection process.

In general, a home inspection is meant to thoroughly check the condition of a home and is typically done when a home is being sold. More often than not, a home inspection is done by a trained and licensed inspector that acts as a neutral third party to inspect the home and provide a written report of all findings. Items that are typically examined in a home inspection include (but are not limited to) the following:

Roof – What is the overall condition and probable age? Does it need to be replaced?
Exterior of the home – Including the foundation, drainage issues, gutters, siding, etc.
Attic space – Properly insulated and verify no leaks are present.
Basement – Wet basements and crawlspaces can be a cause for concern.
Plumbing – Check for any leaks.
Electrical – Test of the light switches, electrical outlets and electrical panel.
Heating and Cooling Systems – Are they in proper working order?
Water heater – Is it in good condition and working properly?
Appliances – General condition and age (If they are included in the sale)
Other – a home inspector looks at windows, doors and any potential pest damage.

The physical condition of the house is an important aspect of buying a home. Many buyers include a home inspection condition as part of the purchase contract. The buyer is usually responsible for scheduling and paying for the inspection. If any issues are found during the home inspection process, then the buyer may go to the seller to ask for repairs or credits toward the purchase price to fix any items uncovered.

The Pre-Inspection

Some buyers prefer to do a pre-inspection before submitting an offer. This is commonly done in areas with hot real estate markets when a buyer may be competing against other offers and wants to set the offer apart by not having the inspection contingency included. It’s also not uncommon for a seller to do a pre-listing inspection of the house to fix any problems before a buyer enters the scene and requests for a repair to be made or money off of the purchase price.

Home Inspection Cost and Requirements

A regular home inspection will take a few hours to complete and can range anywhere from $150 to $500 depending on the size, location, type and age of the home. Some buyers will accompany the inspector while he or she is completing the inspection to learn more about any problems that are found and ask questions. A home inspection report will be furnished to the buyer. There is usually a state run website addressing this issue including having a list of state certified inspectors. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) and The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) can also be great resources as well. Most associations require a minimum number of inspections to join. For example, the ASHI requires no less than 250 inspections to be a member. As with any home improvement contractor, you can always ask for proof of licensing and insurance to make sure they are legitimate.

Typical home inspection reports will be thorough with photos and potentially diagrams. While the home inspector does provide a fairly comprehensive report, other reports may be needed. These may include, but are not limited to, a pest report, environmental health hazards (radon, mold, lead, asbestos) and specialized inspections from hazards such as flooding.

Home inspections are worth their weight in gold as paying a few hundred dollars to uncover a potentially major problem is money well spent instead of buying a home without an inspection only to discover a costly repair needed after you own the property. Even when purchasing a new property, a home inspection can potentially draw attention to any issues.

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The Importance of Radon Testing

Did you know that January is National Radon Action Month? Radon is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke and the number one leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

Those facts right there highlight why it is so important that you regularly test your house for radon. You can buy at-home test kits to do on your own, but if you are buying or selling a house, you should consider having a professional come in and handle the radon testing for you. That way, you know the results are unbiased and impartial and there is no need to worry that the results have been skewed. If you do a test on your own, there are two types to choose from: short-term and long-term. You can find a radon testing kit at home improvement stores, online or through your state government. Depending on what state you live in, some government agencies will have free or discounted radon testing kits available, and some states will even have a list of contractors that you can contact to have professional radon testing done.

Radon is caused by naturally occurring radioactive gas that is released in water, rock and soil thanks to the natural decay of uranium. It moves through the ground and into your home through cracks and fissures in your home’s foundation. It can also be found in well water, which releases radon through the water when you are showering or using water for other purposes.

If your neighbor’s house was tested for radon and came back with low levels of the gas, this does not mean you can assume your house will have low levels as well. Radon levels vary from house to house, and there are several factors that go into how much radon is in your house. Radon is found everywhere, so the United States Environmental Protection Agency has an action point of 4 pCi/L. If you find that your house has a radon level at that point or higher, you need to look into having a radon mitigation system installed.

Radon is found throughout the entire country in all 50 states. There is no particular type of home that is more or less likely to have high levels of radon. Again, this illustrates why it is so important to regularly test your home for radon and to make sure the house you are thinking of buying is tested for radon as part of the home inspection process.

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