Old Homes Problems: Be Aware of Asbestos and Lead

Published: 09th February 2010
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When you live in a house, you want to be able to feel safe and secured at all times. Your home is one of the places where you can control what could happen. Here, you can protect your family from burglars and perpetrators; given you have applied safety practices and installed devices. You can also design the house to which it can be considered accident proof.

However, some homes (especially of it was just a re-sell property) may not be totally safe at all. Older homes that exist way back in the early 1900s may have been built with components that have extremely threatened human health. And this is because materials like lead and asbestos were used.

Lead and asbestos has alarmed the people and the government. It was found out that they these materials are related to various health problems and can possibly lead to death.

So what are the issues with lead and asbestos in older homes?

To start with, let's discuss lead.

Lead in Older Homes

Back then, lead was popular as paint. Homes built before 1978 have them. Lead paint where generally used as pigment and a drying agent.
But lead was then banned by the government because it was known to cause poisoning. It was learned that it could accumulate in blood when the paint is ingested or inhaled. So how is this possible if you are too careful? For one, lead paint could deteriorate. When it does, its surface would be then chip off, getting into your hands. So the transmission of the paint would be hand to mouth. Kids can be a common victim of this transmission. Sometimes, lead paint upon deterioration would also create dust particles. This could then be inhaled, causing concentrations of lead in the blood.

The higher the lead content in the body could result to poisoning. If this happens, kids could have poor mental function. Fetuses exposed may grow abnormally. Adults may have poor nerve and motor functioning.

Next discussion will be about asbestos

Asbestos in Older Homes

Asbestos is also one of the issues in buying old homes. Although it is known for its insulating abilities and durability, this material has known to cause various respiratory problems. It is also associated with lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos has many uses in your home. It is used as part of your roofing as it can be made of asbestos cement. It is popular for insulation and it also used for textured painting. Vinyl tiles can also contain asbestos. Therefore, one must assume that most parts of the old homes contain asbestos as this has wide uses before 1978.

The danger of asbestos occurs if the person disturbs the fibers. If it happened that a component with asbestos would be destroyed or accidentally opened, the fibers will be included in the air circulation in your homes. As a result, the indoor air quality of your homes would be compromised.


If you plan to buy old homes, you must make sure that it is properly inspected. If you have lead paint, you must be able to replace them with the new non-toxic versions. If you suspect the area has asbestos, limit activities in that place and avoid further damage.
In case of repairs and improvements, a professional should handle the matters for you.

Discover more real estate tips in selling and buying when you visit Surprise Real Estate, Surprise Golf Course Property and New Houses in Surprise.

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