- Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr
It seems that we hear a lot about environmental concerns these days. Much of it is simply the result of a greater awareness than in the past. And even though there isn’t anything to be concerned with in most homes, there are still a number of potential home environmental issues that buyers should be aware of. When buying a home, these issues should be addressed by the NHD Report, (Natural Hazard Disclosure) if they apply.
- Water quality is probably the most common concern and the one most often tested for. Typically, a basic water quality test will check pH, water hardness, the presence of fluoride, sodium, iron and manganese, plus bacteria such as E-coli. Additionally, water may be tested for the presence of lead or arsenic.
- Lead based paint in homes built before 1978, may be present. Generally, if the lead based paint is in good condition, not cracking or peeling, it is not a hazard. If the condition is hazardous, the paint will either need to be removed or sealed in such a manner as to eliminate the hazard.
- Radon is another common environmental concern with the home is. Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium in the soil. Pretty much all homes have some radon present; tests can determine if the level present is higher than what is considered safe. If the level is too high, a radon reduction system will need to be installed.
- Asbestos was used in many types of insulation and other building materials in older homes built more than 30 years ago. If the asbestos is releasing fibers into the air, it needs to be removed or repaired by a professional contractor specializing in asbestos cleanup. But, if the asbestos material is in good repair, and not releasing fibers, it poses no hazard and can be left alone.
If you are buying a property that was built more then 30 years ago, without a Realtor’s assistance, make sure the seller will provide you these disclosures to you.