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Looking For Termite Damages When Buying A Home
The benefits of performing a home inspection before purchasing a new home are well known and documented, but you may not have considered the advantages a home inspection report can provide even if your home is not for sale. In fact, there are a number of inspections and tests available for homeowners that can help you anticipate problems and even protect your family’s safety. Besides a thorough home inspection, experts recommend testing your home for mold, radon, asbestos, lead paint, and pest infestation to ensure your home is safe and in optimal condition.
General home inspection
Home inspection reports provide valuable information about the condition of your home. That information can be vital to you as a homeowner, no matter how long you’ve owned your house. Scheduling a professional home inspection will give you a clear assessment of the various systems in your home, including an estimated time frame for replacement and a general idea of what kinds of repairs may be necessary. You will be able to plan for repairs and replacements of older systems in advance, allowing a measure of financial control and preventing unexpected breakdowns.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has identified toxic mold as a health risk, especially for people suffering from allergies or asthma. Mold can grow almost anywhere in your home and can be difficult to spot since it prefers damp, dark areas. A mold inspection can determine whether toxic mold is presenting a health risk for you and your family, and offer options for remedying the problem.
HUD recommends that homeowners test their property for dangerous levels of radon. Radon, a colorless and odorless gas, is radioactive and can cause lung cancer in high dosages. Professional radon testers can measure the level of radon in your home and, if high levels of radon exist, assist you in repairing the problem before it causes serious health problems. Home testing kits are also available, and some do-it-yourself kits for radon remediation can produce satisfactory results if used properly.
Mostly found in older homes, asbestos insulation can also cause cancer. While this problem is sometimes found during a general home inspection, asbestos remediation companies have expertise in identifying and removing asbestos insulation safely and without further risk to you and your family. Because of the toxic nature of asbestos and the difficulty in removing it completely, this is not a project you should try to undertake on your own.
Homes built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint; this can cause lead poisoning and cause serious medical problems, including brain damage and birth defects. It’s estimated that 1.7 million children may be affected by some degree of lead poisoning. Lead-based paint inspections are comparatively inexpensive; if your home was built before 1978, it’s worth your while to schedule this inspection and ensure your home’s safety.
In order to preserve the structural integrity of your home, termite inspections are an important part of your yearly maintenance schedule. If caught early, termites and other pests can be stopped before they do serious damage. General home inspections do not always cover insect damage, so a separate inspection is a good idea. If no infestation is found, most companies can recommend a preventive program to keep your home free from these pests and the damage they can do.
Energy has partnered with local companies to provide free walk-through energy audits for its customers. Especially geared toward promoting energy efficiency, these audits will check on the condition of your heating and cooling system, insulation, ductwork, and the general condition of door and window frames. The company will then make suggestions about how you can improve your home’s energy efficiency. This free service is part of a green initiative and can save you hundreds of dollars each year in energy costs.
Knowing the condition of your home will allow you to plan improvements and repairs in advance. Additionally, some types of home inspections can save you money, preserve your home’s condition and even protect your family’s health: all good reasons to have your home thoroughly tested and inspected as soon as possible. These small investments can reap enormous rewards in health, safety, and comfort for you and your family.