Finding Things Out Before Moving In
- Go Green for Earth Month
- Natural Repellents To Get Rid Of Pests
- Carpets Triggering Indoor Allergies
- Eco-friendly Paint
- Plants Reducing Indoor Pollution
Since I left home for school years ago, I moved from place to place. But every time I moved, I thought about the environmental conditions before I arrived. When I lived in dorm rooms, the walls were repainted every year, the floors shined, the fire alarms replaced. How did I know this? I asked the housing office. I live in an apartment now, and I inquired about the building before moving my stuff in.
Since the recession, many people have been buying foreclosed homes. The news has tackled an unforeseen consequence of this: Families have suddenly been suffering from health issues associated with harsh chemicals. They soon discovered that the former residents sold and made methamphetamines inside the home. The walls had absorbed the chemicals from manufacturing the drug. It was too expensive to solve the problem, and no one alerted the families to the issue.
Real estate agents do not have to disclose this information, and sometimes they do not even have it themselves. Although the government has difficulties collecting information on “meth homes,” some are listed here. The buyer or renter is responsible for finding this information himself.
Good schools and safe neighborhoods are top priorities for many potential renters and homeowners, but looking at air and water quality, hidden mold, and other factors can make a drastic difference.
Before buying a home or renting a space, I would research the environmental problems in the vicinity. This is important because, in some cases, people find themselves in cancer clusters. Such clusters are caused by local contamination or buildings where heavy chemicals were used. Use the EPA website and enter a zip code in MyEnvironment search to see which pollutants plague the air, water, and soil in the area. The site provides a list of major chemicals persistent in the area, in addition to statistics about cancer.
Many assume it is the role of the landlord or real estate agent to tell tenants and buyers about a home’s history, but it’s not. Look through city records, talk to neighbors, and gather any other data about the home or apartment building before making a commitment to live there.
Information is not going to be handed to you, so ask about things you can see. One question is about the paint. Some places still have lead-based paint on the walls even though the law requires repainting with safer paints. Another question is about the pipes. Some places have eroding pipes, which can affect water quality.
If a place seems suspicious, I would hire an inspector to get an in-depth analysis of the chemical presence inside a home. After the analysis, some things might have to replaced or repaired. This may add a few more costs, but it’s nothing compared to the health of your family.
Many people have saved money for homes, only to face rude awakenings later on. It’s difficult to find information about residences, but ransacking all the sources for the history will expose the environmental conditions that endanger your wellbe