Some materials that are available for building and remodeling homes today differ greatly from those used years ago. There have been improvements in design, the discovery of new materials, a focus on ecological uses, and more. Remodeling an older home though requires further consideration. There were materials used in the past that that are now considered hazardous. Some are nuisance level, and some are cancer causing. We will look at the various hazards that can be found in an older home giving you things to think about when you remodel.
A concern in older homes is moisture that might have become trapped. It can be in the walls or other areas of the home. Water and moisture that is left to sit can become mold within the home. When work is beginning and as it is being done, it is important to look for mold and prevent moisture from building up. Older homes can have older pipes. If your pipes are leaking within the wall at a steady slow rate, it might not be as noticeable on the wall. When the wall is opened though, you might see the state of water damage that has been hidden.
Before it was known as a health hazard, lead paint had been used in homes. Most of the homes before 1976 had lead paint in them. There are tests that can be used to determine if there is lead in the paint on your walls. Steps would need to be taken to ensure that family members are not exposed to this hazard, during and after the remodel, along with precautionary measures for the remodelers.
Plaster was used a great deal in older homes so when the walls are brought down the amount of dust increases. They key here is to lessen the amount of dust created and to lessen the spread of the dust around the rest of the home. This can be done by sealing off the room that is creating the dust. By putting up tarps and barriers, the dust can remain within the room being remodeled. If furniture or other furnishings remain in the room, then they will need to be covered completely. Another consideration is any air duct or windows within the room. You want to ensure that these are sealed as well.
A final hazard in older homes is the use of asbestos. Because of the hazard this material causes to the environment and the occupants of the home, contractors certified in asbestos removal should be used. Asbestos can be found in many places within the home. If asbestos is suspected, then a qualified professional should be sought to find it and remove it.