Saturday, October 14, 2017

Older Home? 3 Tricky Health Risks to Check For

If you live in an older home, there are a variety of health risks that you may not think to look for. Building and housing regulations weren’t as strict in the past as they are today, so older homes can present unexpected dangers. 

Because of this, knowing what hazards to look for is key to keeping your family safe. Here are three health risks to watch for if you live in an older house.

Lead Paint

Lead paint was famously banned from residential use in the U.S. in 1978, but many old houses still contain lead paint. The older your home is, the greater the danger. 

Research suggests that homes built before 1978, 62% contain lead paint, while the percentage increases to 80% for pre-1960 homes and 90% for homes built before 1940.

Old Wiring

Old wiring isn’t always a potential danger, but when it is, it’s usually because of ‘knob and tube’ wiring. Knob and tube was one of the first standardized wiring designs, and the problem with it is that over time, the insulation can wear down and expose bare wires, causing electrocution hazards and fire hazards. 

If your home is old enough that it still has knob and tube wiring, you should have it updated by an electrician as soon as possible, even if it’s still functioning. If the electrician finds no serious danger, it’s still a good idea to upgrade to newer, safer wiring.


Asbestos is relatively common in old homes, and if inhaled, asbestos particles can cause respiratory problems, including mesothelioma, a deadly variety of lung cancer. If you have stable, undamaged asbestos in your home, it’s not an inherent risk and is best left alone. 

However, crumbling or worn-out asbestos is a very serious health hazard that must be dealt with immediately. If there is dangerous asbestos in your home, contact professional contractors that offer asbestos removal services, such as Mendelssohn Construction.

If you’re living in an older home, it’s important to be aware of the variety of potential health risks. Old or faulty wiring, asbestos, and lead paint are just three common hazards in old homes. 

By checking for hazards and hiring professionals to fix issues when they arise, you can ensure that your family remains happy and healthy in your home. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always best to have your house inspected.

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