While water might not seem that dangerous at first glance, if the problems are unaddressed, that can lead to even more structural damage. Persistent moisture encourages timber mold, pests, compromising the overall structure of your home; eventually it can also result in its devaluation.
Most people misunderstand and underrate water issues, but they can be significant and result in expensive repairs down the line. Unfortunately, a large majority of people also fail to realize that most of these problems are easily preventable – all it needs is some forethought and regular preventive maintenance. The one way to ensure your home is well-protected from these problems is to ensure that it’s water tight right from the outset. After that, a bit of regular maintenance is all it takes to keep it that way.
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts. Outdoors, radon disperses rapidly and, generally, is not a health issue. Most radon exposure occurs inside homes, schools and workplaces. Radon gas becomes trapped indoors after it enters buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Indoor radon can be controlled and managed with proven, cost-effective techniques.Breathing radon over time increases your risk of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Nationally, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.You can take steps to reduce and control the amount of radon in your home. Testing is the only way to determine radon levels. Have your home tested, either by a professional or with a do-it-yourself home test kit. If radon levels are high, contact a certified radon service professional to fix your home. EPA guidance suggests mitigating if levels are at or above 148 Bq/m3 (4 pCi/L). Usually, radon problems are fixed using an underground ventilation system or by increasing the rate of air changes in the building.
Mold is a type of fungus. These small organisms can be black, white, orange, green, or purple and live almost anywhere indoors and outside. Molds thrive on moisture and reproduce through lightweight spores that travel through the air. You’re exposed to mold every day. They’re usually harmless in small amounts. But when they land on a damp spot in your home, they can start to grow. They release spores that you might breathe in. If you're sensitive to mold and inhale a lot of spores, it could make you sick.
Molds are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. We do not have precise information about how often different molds are found in buildings and homes.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels.
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in your bloodstream. When too much carbon monoxide is in the air, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This can lead to serious tissue damage, or even death.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel. Improperly ventilated appliances and engines, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, may allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels.
If you think you or someone you're with may have carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air and seek emergency medical care.