June is National Safety Month
A home inspection is a great way of allowing homeowners and home buyers to learn about minor and major issues within a home. In honor of National Safety Month in June, we want to highlight some important safety factors that are commonly documented during a thorough home inspection.
A home inspection not only exposes obvious defects found in a home, but also focuses a great deal on aspects of a home that can become a safety hazard for the residents if periodic evaluation or maintenance is neglected. Problems like electrical issues, elevated radon levels, faulty equipment, mold growth, water quality and lead-based paint can cause serious health risks and safety issues for residents—and often go unnoticed to the untrained individual.
Here are just a few safety issues a qualified home inspector will identify to help protect and ensure the health and safety of you and your clients.
- Electrical Risks: According to research by Electrical Safety Foundation International 51,000 fires are caused due to electrical failure and malfunction. Many issues, including faulty outlets and outdated or improper wiring in electrical panels, can wreak havoc if not properly identified and addressed. Having defective electrical components in the home can also lead to increased risk of fire that can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars and worse, can also put residents at risk of getting seriously injured.
A qualified home inspector will check electrical panels, wiring and other electrical components of the home to ensure the equipment is safe and performing properly.
Radon Gas: This radioactive gas is found in numerous U.S. households due to several factors, including Uranium deposits in the soil and well water. Colorado’s terrain ranks 7th highest in the US in regards to finding high levels of radon with nearly 7 out of 15 homes subject to levels above the EPA recommended acceptable standard of 4.0pCi/L.
The presence of Radon can prove to be fatal to the residents of the house, which is why identifying the problem at its earliest is extremely important. Radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the world, followed by smoking. A radon test is highly recommended with most transactions or to ensure the safety of your residence.
- Smoke Detectors: A smoke detector is another crucial safety device that should be installed according to current standards in all residential and commercial structures. Thousands of deaths occur each year due to smoke inhalation and fire.
The placement of smoke detectors also plays a critically important role in the safety of residents. A single smoke detector/fire alarm in the living room will not immediately alert you about the fire in the kitchen or elsewhere in the home. It is critical to test your smoke detectors on a monthly basis. Smoke detectors are recommended by the U.S. Product Safety Commission to be installed inside each bedroom and adjoining hallway and on each living level of the property and basement level. A qualified home inspector will check to ensure that your smoke detectors are placed and working properly.
- Carbon Monoxide: Carbon monoxide is produced when most common fuel sources are burned. Whether it’s a grilling session with the family or to fuel your car or truck, carbon monoxide is always present. Carbon monoxide can be fatal to people and animals once it makes its way into the home’s breathable air.
Carbon monoxide detectors are used to alert residents to the presence of this gas. Many newer models combine both smoke and CO detection. No matter the combination, a quality home inspector will evaluate for the presence and functionality of these important safety devices.
Carbon monoxide detector(s) should be placed within 15 feet from each sleeping area where they can wake occupants from sleeping in the event of a leak. Placing additional detectors on every level and in every bedroom of a property provides extra protection. Property owners should remember not to install carbon monoxide detectors directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. A detector should not be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or near very humid areas such as bathrooms.
- Mold: Mold is a type of fungus that grows in our natural environment when exposed to excess water. Mold spores–tiny microscopic seeds–can be found virtually everywhere, including in homes. They waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually and can grow on home and building materials and furnishings. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. The key to preventing mold growth is to control moisture intrusion.
Axium’s certified mold inspectors will perform a visual mold inspection, utilizing sophisticated moisture detection equipment to determine areas in your home that may be conducive to mold growth. They then take the proper types of samples in the proper locations within your Colorado home and provide the most accurate mold testing lab results.
- Lead Testing: Older homes are notorious for lead-based paint and the use of lead in other areas. Lead is toxic to everyone with babies being at the highest risk for health issues. A few additional concerns with lead exposure include: learning and behavioral disabilities, slowed growth, hearing issues and premature birth in pregnant women. A qualified Lead Inspector will have the necessary training and equipment to determine whether a home or business is safe from the dangers of lead paint.
- Water Quality: Colorado homes utilize wells in many areas and Well Water Testing is essential to these homes. Ensuring your water quality is high is important for your health and your pocket. A qualified inspector can provide tests to make sure your water is not contaminated with improper levels, coliform bacteria or even radon.
For More Information:
Axium offers a large menu of ancillary services in addition to home and commercial inspections.