In the past 100 years the housing industry, despite its short falls, have exploded. Since the early 1900’s, the housing industry has been building at record pace. To keep up with that frantic pace, certain materials were developed and put into use before a proper analysis could be conducted. Below are some of the most important factors to look for and know about before buying any real estate property, home or otherwise.
Man Made Hazards
The most famous of the man made materials that have been used, only to be recalled and banned across the country, is asbestos. It is a mineral that was manufactured as the primary ingredient used to make insulation. It was considered one of the great discoveries, until it turned deadly. The mineral was used for wall, and water pipe insulation, ducts, floor tiles, and even exterior siding.
Asbestos has been the main cause for the sky-rocketing cases of mesothelioma, a very deadly form of lung cancer. The material tends to break into tiny breathable flakes that inevitably make their way in to the occupants lungs.
Formaldehyde is a gas used in building materials that can cause several medical conditions. Wheezing isn’t uncommon after exposure to formaldehyde, irritation to the eyes and skin is also common. Formaldehyde is responsible for the epidemic known as sick building syndrome, or SBS. It is an illness that is caused from lack of air flow and quality. Most people who suffer the symptoms of SBS feel fatigued, nauseous, they can get a headache, and develop an ole factory sensitivity to odors.
The main uses for formaldehyde lies with insulation. Extracts of formaldehyde have been used in the creation of residential and commercial real estate, mostly for electrical components.
Environmental Hazards for Real Estate Investors
Radon is, probably, the most dangerous of the hazards, simply because of its radioactive nature. Most home owners are unaware that radon is a radioactive gas trapped beneath the surface of the earth. It forces its way up through cracks and openings below the foundation of a building. If the house or building is air tight, as many are, the radon can slowly build over time and fill the entire building.
The biggest danger related to radon gas is the fact that it’s radioactive. Lung cancer is radons most common side effect, caused from the gas mixing with oxygen. There are radon detection kits available to detect the levels of radon at your property.
Mold comes in multiple types and species. When there is moisture on food or any other organic substance, like wood, paper, or even leather, there is a good possibility for mold growth.
Mold growth damages what ever it grow on, weakening weight supporting beams, walls, ceiling and roofs. Mold damage can stop a property sale in its tracks, so be sure to have a professional do a thorough inspection to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.
If the mold isn’t found, or is purposely hidden, it can cause long term destruction to the property and cause a certain amount of damage to the buyers as well. Molds, very often, cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks and other medical problems to unsuspecting buyers, who later have sued the seller for liability, due to failure to disclose.
Be smart when you invest, inspect, inspect, inspect! Real estate agents, investors, or every day home buyers can use this information to make sure they’re not getting the short end of an unpleasant stick.