Lead in The Home – Keep Yourself Safe

What can you do if you find lead in your home? Here in this part of Florida, we don’t always think about this issue. But if your home was built before 1978, then you could have an issue. Millions of homes have lead based paint, and the older the home the more likely it is to have it.  If the paint is in good condition,  lead paint is usually not a problem.

There are different steps that can be taken in order to lower the effects of lead, ranging from something easy that everyone can do, to more major steps, that might require a professional.

What are some of the things we can all do?

It will seem obvious but cleaning regularly will help to reduce a child’s exposure to lead. If you see paint chips, get rid of them immediately. Wipe down all surfaces like window frames and sills, and clean floors with warm water, all purpose cleaner or even a cleaner that is meant for lead paint.

Whatever items you use for cleaning, such as mops and sponges, take care to clean them thoroughly after use.

Never wear your shoes in the house, you can prevent a lot of issues by doing this simple task.

A healthy diet rich in calcium and iron is good for helping your child to absorb less lead. Also, a very important step is to make sure your child has washed their hands before eating and especially before bed time.

Interim steps can also be taken to help reduce exposure to lead. For example, if you have found lead in the soil, plant some grass to cover it over. You could also do some repairs to any damaged, painted surfaces. Steps like these are not a permanent solution though, you will eventually need to do something about it.

When you should get a professional:

The time may come to permanently remove the lead problem, and its best to consult a professional lead removal specialist. Check first though to make sure they are a certified lead abatement specialist. They have special training in safe lead removal and clean up. If you try to do it yourself, you may encounter more problems and hazards than you bargained for. Its always good to know that there are things that can be done about lead in a home, but always put safety first.

Maintenance Tip – How to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

Flood damage is a common problem for many homeowners.  There are a few simple precautions you can take to minimize the chance of  water damage in your home.

Common causes of floods are burst water pipes, especially from the hoses  to your washing machine.  If ywasher hosesou have rubber hoses, it is a good idea to change  these out every five years or change to metal flex hoses.

 

 

 

 

Also, chehot water tank panck your hot water tank at least once a year.  If you notice signs of rusting around the base, it could be a good time to have it replaced.  At least monitor it regularly.  It is a good idea to have a pan under the tank to catch water in case of a leak.
Pipes under the kitchen sink and under bathroom vanities are less likely to burst but often leak, which can damage the cabinet and also lead to mold, so it is a good idea to check these annually too.  Turn on the hot water and let it run for a couple of minutes which will cause the pipes to expand.  Then check for any leaks.

 

The air conditioner can be another source of water leaks, but not usually a flood.  In warm climates like Florida, algae tends to grow in the drain pipe, clogging it up.  Your air conditioner should have a safety float switch which will turn the unit off if the water does not drain.  These are not 100% reliable and many people put a drain pan unsafety float switchder the air handler in case of leaks.  Other remedies are pouring a little bleach in the pipe each month or using a wet vac to suck out the pipe.

 

 

 

If you have polybutylene pipes in your home, you need to be extra alert.  These are gray plastic pipes that were installed in many homes built from the late 1970s to about 1992.  This is a common cause of flood damage. They are not always obvious as they usually have copper connections through the wall.  You may be able to check by climbing into the attic. polybutylene pipe 2

 

 

 

 

 

A final preventative measure, especially if the washer or hot water tank are on the second floor or if you live in a condo is to place a leak detector on the floor where there is concern about possible leaks.  These can be bought for about $30.  Flood Buster

I hope these tips will help prevent flood damage from happening in your home.

Polybutylene Pipes Stall Home Sale in Sunrise

Polybutylene Pipes Can Be a Hazard

Buying a house can be riskier than you think.  Vanessa was trying to buy a house in Sunrise,

polybutylene pipes

polybutylene pipes

but when I inspected it,  I discovered that it had polybutylene piping.  The Seller is now getting the pipes replaced so that the sale can go ahead.

Polybutylene pipes leaked in thousands of homes across the United States resulting in many lawsuits being filed. In 1995 a $950 million settlement was reached.

They were installed in more than six million homes during the 80’s and early 90’s, including  areas in Broward County, Florida, such as Tamarac, Sunrise and Margate.  Unfortunately, thousands of people still have these pipes and have no idea. Even if they look fine, they are unreliable and can leak unexpectedly.

Look out for gray pipes under the sinks and around the hot water heater. They are not always easy to spot as they usually have copper fittings on the ends. . See more at www.polybutylene.com/realtor.html

When buying a house always ask for the Seller to complete a Disclosure form – ask your real estate agent- but you also need a home inspection as the seller may not be aware of this problem.

Replacing polybutylene pipes can be expensive.  Another option is to make sure your insurance policy will cover any damage from burst pipes.  If they burst you may get a nice payout!

plumbing issue in the attic

Polybutylene pipes found in the attic