Home Health Care: Dangers to Avoid During Home Renovations - Asbestos

While older homes typically demand the most comprehensive, costly repairs, it’s important to realize your home might contain more issues than inefficient single pane windows or deteriorating siding. Although monetary considerations like insulation and plumbing are important, you first need to consider aspects of older homes that pose a direct threat to your family’s health like outdated wiring and the presence of dangerous materials.

Dangers to Avoid During Home Renovations - Mesothelioma symptoms
Dangers to Avoid During Home Renovations

Older wiring is a big problem in older homes because newer appliances demand higher electrical currents, which outdated systems might struggle to provide. Worse still, many older homes still have ungrounded, two-pronged outlets which need to be replaced with the three-pronged, grounded variety. Because these wiring issues represent a serious fire hazard, their removal should be a major concern when families commit to updating their homes.

The presence of heavy metals is another risk factor to homeowners. One of the most widely-known of these chemicals, lead, continues to pose a threat today, especially if you have young children. Although recognized decades ago as a danger in older paints, it continues to pose a domestic hazard because it was also used in a variety of household products. Gasoline, furniture and water-carrying pipes all contained lead in the past, making recognition difficult because of its pervasiveness. Devastating impacts to mental, physical and behavioral health are common with exposure to this chemical, especially in children because it’s more easily absorbed into their growing skin.

Another toxic chemical with serious associated risk, especially during renovation when it can be exposed and spread, is the naturally-occurring mineral, asbestos. Now infamous as a carcinogen, it was popular because of its high degree of insulation against heat, chemicals and electricity. Despite its recognition as a lethal substance, asbestos continues to be found in older homes, making this chemical another constant threat in the U.S. 

Unfortunately, without properly identifying this material, families risk continued exposure leading to mesothelioma, which is the chemical’s specific form of cancer. Mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 to 50 years to appear, meaning early detection, effective treatment and recovery is nearly impossible.

Considering the risks associated with older homes, especially if you attempt renovation yourself and manage to expose these materials further, it’s especially important to hire experienced professionals to address these hazardous substance concerns. Luckily, because the initial identification and subsequent removal of these materials is so difficult, many companies exist to help homeowners with that phase of renovation. 

In you haste to improve the value and efficiency of your home, it’s important not to overlook the more serious issue of safety when you contemplate your next home renovation. Although these repairs are largely hidden from the eye, the satisfaction of knowing you’ve provided a beautiful and safe place for your family to live should be enough for any homeowner.

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