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Aug08

6 Hidden Hazards in Your Denver Colorado Home and What You Can Do About Them

Our home is our safe haven. After a long, stressful day at work, many of us look forward to resting and relaxing in our home. We think of it as a place of comfort and safety. If you have kids, creating a secure, welcoming, and safe environment for your family is on top of your priority list. If you think you’re safe in your Denver Colorado home, think again.

There are numerous hazards inside your Denver home that people tend to overlook. The biggest dangers are the ones that you can’t see. They are posing a threat to the health and safety of your loved ones, and you’re not even aware they are present in your home.

Here are 6 hidden hazards in your home, along with some suggestions on what you can do about them.

Mold

Molds are a natural part of the environment. They are literally everywhere, but active mold growth requires moisture. If you recently experienced flooding, water damage, roof leaks or pipe leaks, odds are there is mold inside your home.

Exposure to mold may cause a multitude of health problems. Not all people are sensitive to molds. Some develop reactions when exposed to mold while others do not. For those who are sensitive to molds, exposure to molds can cause allergic reaction. They usually develop symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, sneezing, eye irritation, wheezing, throat irritation, and skin irritation. The symptoms may worsen overtime. Infant, children, older adults, and immune-compromised individuals are more susceptible to molds. Often, these individuals develop more serious reactions such as shortness of breath, coughing, and asthma attack.

Mold starts to grow within 24 to 48 hours of moisture problem or water damage. If you have recently experience water damage, act fast and address the problem as soon as possible.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is as colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It can build up inside your home without you even knowing it. The problem is that once you breathe in carbon dioxide, the CO molecules will displace the oxygen in the body and leads to poisoning. CO poisoning kills more than 200 people a year. It is a serious issue you shouldn’t take lightly.

Carbon monoxide is usually produced by burning fuel. If you have fuel-burning appliances like wood stove, fireplace, water heater, and furnace, you are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. To thwart danger posed by carbon monoxide, we highly recommend that you install carbon monoxide detector in your home. Also, make sure that all fuel burning appliances as well as the vents and chimneys are inspected annually.

Ideally, you should have one in every floor and place them near the sleeping areas. This way, everyone will be alerted by the presence of this silent killer. Also, make it a habit to test the detector regularly and replace the battery as needed. This is a simple step to ensure that your entire family is protected from the dangers of carbon monoxide. Remember, carbon monoxide is an invisible gas. Without a functional detector, it would be impossible to detect the presence of carbon monoxide inside your home.

Electrical issues

Electrical fire is one of the leading causes of residential fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical fires account to about 6.3% of all residential fires. This equates to about $1.3 billion in property damage.

Outdated wiring, faulty outlets, faulty appliances, and misuse of extension cords are just some of the most common causes of electrical fires. Most electrical fires are preventable. Don’t let these issues cause a fire in your home.

Older homes usually have inadequate electrical wiring, which can be an electrical and fire hazard. Keep you and your family out of harm’s way by hiring a certified electrician and have your electrical system inspected. If you often use electrical cords, be sure to keep them away from sources of water and heat. Also, never place them beneath the carpets. Inspect all electrical cords and discard all plugs or cords that are frayed or worn.

Structural damage

Some cracks on the wall or a door that’s a little tough to open may not seem like a big deal, but structural damage is a serious issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This means the foundation can no longer support your home. With a weak foundation, your home would collapse. Not only is it expensive to repair, it is also extremely dangerous.

Water damage is one of the most common causes of structural damage. If left unaddressed, it can create the perfect environment for mold growth and can eventually weaken your home’s foundation. Avoid permanent damage to your home by taking corrective action right away.

Lead

Lead-based paint was used in many homes from 1922 to mid-70s. It was added to paint to resist moisture, maintain a fresh appearance, and accelerate drying. Later on, they found out about the health risks associated with lead. As such, the federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978. If your house was built before 1978, there is a good chance that there is lead in your home.

Most old homes still have lead paint in them, which is a major health hazard. Lead is a highly toxic metal that can be harmful to people of any age. People can be exposed to lead through ingestion of lead-contaminated food, water or dust. Young children are more susceptible to lead toxicity because they tend to put different things in their mouth. Another route is through inhalation of lead particles. Once it’s in a person’s bloodstream, it can affect multiple body systems.

Lead does not present a health hazard as long as it is not flaking or chipping. To reduce the risk of lead poisoning, be sure to keep all paint in excellent condition and clean up paint chips safely. Also, families living in older homes should have their house tested to confirm the presence or absence of lead in your home.  

Radon

Radon is a natural by-product that is produced during the breakdown of radioactive elements such as uranium. Just like carbon monoxide, radon is an odorless, colorless gas that can be detrimental to one’s health. The gas is carcinogenic. Breathing in radon, especially over a long period of time, increases your risk of developing lung cancer. Studies suggest that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer among smokers.

According to studies, 1 out of 15 homes in the United States have high radon levels. It usually occurs in the outdoor air in small amounts that it isn’t considered as a health risk. Radon can enter your home through cracks in the walls, floors or basement drain and gets trapped inside. In some cases, it can build up to an unsafe level. When this happens, it can become an indoor air hazard for your family. But the problem is that, most homeowners aren’t even aware that there is radon gas in their home until it’s too late.

Since radon is odorless and colorless, the only way to determine the presence of radon in your home is through testing. You can either do the test on your own or hire a professional to do it for you. It doesn’t cost that much either. Have your home tested for radon. It can save the lives of you and your loved ones.