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All Posts in Category: Home

Protecting You and Your Loved Ones From Radon Gas

When you buy or sell a home these days, you will more than likely run into questions regarding
radon gas and radon testing. That’s because it is now becoming more widely known and
understood that when high levels of this gas are present in your home, you and your family
could be at risk for developing serious health risks, including lung cancer. Here is everything you
need to know about the dangers of radon and how to make sure your home is safe.

The Dangers of Radon Gas
Since you can’t see, smell, or taste radon, it is impossible to detect without special testing. For
this reason, homes are now being tested for radon gas during the buying and selling process.
Even if you’re not buying or selling your home, however, you may still want to have the indoor
air tested for radon.

When too much radon is able to seep through cracks in the foundation or walls of your home, it
can become trapped inside and could increase your risk of developing lung cancer. In fact, radon
exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to
cigarette smoke.

How Do I Know If There Is Radon in My Home?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, counties in many regions in the United
States are likely to have radon levels above the safe limit of 4 pCi/L. Some of the most at-risk
areas include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, Ohio, Illinois, and many parts of the
mid-west and northwest.

However, the only way to know for sure whether or not the radon levels in your home are safe
for you and your family is to have the air tested for radon. If your radon test comes back with readings of 4 or greater, it is highly recommended that you have a radon remediation system
installed to pull radon from beneath your home and vent it outside where it can then disperse.

Professional Radon Testing vs. DIY Test Kits
At this point, you might be asking, “How do I get my home tested for radon?” You have two
options. The first is to get a DIY radon testing kit from your local hardware store and follow the
instructions to set up the test yourself. You’ll then need to send it off to an environmental
testing lab to get the results.

Your second option is to have a professional radon remediation company to come in and
perform the test for you. The advantage to this option is that if your test does come back with
unsafe levels, the company can then begin the process of installing your radon remediation
system as soon as possible. The costs of your testing might also be lower when performed by
the same company that installs your system if needed.

Still Have Questions?
If you still have questions about what radon is or how to get your home tested for radon, feel
free to contact IRIS Environmental Laboratories at (908)206-0073 or using our online form. We
would be happy to answer your questions or recommend a professional radon testing and
remediation company in your area.

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home-inspections-why-quality-is-key

Home Inspections: Why Quality Is Key!

home-inspections-why-quality-is-keyYou’ve just found your dream house and you’re anxious to get the ball rolling so you can move in and live happily ever after. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new home, it’s easily one of the biggest investment a person might make in their lifetime. Home inspections are an important step in the home buying process. Read this article to learn about home inspections: why quality is key. 

It’s important that you take the proper precautions to make sure the house you’re buying is a safe place to call home. From the untrained professional there are details that might go unnoticed. A thorough home inspection will help bring the true condition of the home to light and give the buyer confidence that he’s making the right decision.

Why Are Home Inspections Important?

Even though you might think you’ve found your dream home, it’s your inspector’s job to make sure that your home is in a good, safe condition and doesn’t need any major repairs. A certified home inspector will analyze the property and all its major functions such as; major mechanical systems such as furnace and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical components, as well as an overall analysis of the roof.

A home inspector will also determine whether the home has any potential hazardous health risks like mold, lead paint or asbestos. If your home does have one of these flaws, don’t freak out just yet. A professional and qualified home inspector should also be able to suggest other professionals who can help remove and  remedy the problem.

Once the home inspection is complete  the inspector should give you a detailed report, from there it is the buyer’s responsibility to follow up with any questions or concerns. Moving forward you can discuss the results with your realtor to decide if this purchase is right for you. You can also review the results with the sellers and ask them to repair some of the things on your priority list. Having the home inspection will help you plan what kind of costs you’re willing to put into the home after the closing.

What If My Home Inspector Finds Asbestos?

If your home inspector suspects there may be asbestos or asbestos containing materials than it’s a good idea to contact a professional who is certified to treat the material. There is a step by step process to remedy the issue.

Inspection Of The Property

You just had a home inspection, so why does the property need to be inspected again? If the home is suspected to have asbestos than one of our certified and trained professional to come out and inspect all of the problem areas and areas that are thought to have asbestos and samples of those materials will be collected.

Samples – Sent To The Lab

Samples are sent to our Certified Laboratory facility under the Environmental Standard criteria. Each piece of material will be analyzed and tested for further findings.

Lab Analysis and Solutions

Once the lab has completed the testing an easy to read report will be generated and available to go over. If the tests show (ACM Asbestos Containing Material) than it is time to start looking for a remediation service company.

Post Remediation

After the asbestos has been removed and the home is thought to be safe of any hazardous materials,  a third party company must perform what is commonly called Clearance Air Test to ensure there is no asbestos fibers present in the air.

Why Should You Choose A Professional?

The potential buyer has the choice of who does the home inspection. It’s important that you do the research a choose someone who is qualified to do a thorough inspection. This sometimes goes deeper than just a look at some of the homes major mechanical systems. There are some other tests that can be done that may be helpful to you based on the condition of your home.

Older homes may have some hidden issues that are naked to the eye. Your home inspector should be able to tell you by the age of the home and overall condition of some of those tests are necessary for further investigation.

If there is an issue of asbestos it’s best to hire someone who is certified and trained to handle the situation. Dealing with asbestos can be a potential health risk to you and your family. If it’s not dealt with properly it could lead to bigger problems.

Choosing a home inspector is really important. Choosing a certified and qualified inspector could be crucial to the outcome of your home inspection. It’s a good idea to have some questions prepared so you can see how each person differs.

Questions To Ask A Home Inspector:

  • Are you licensed?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have a limitation of liability clause in your contract?
  • What experience do you have that is related to home inspections?
  • If you miss something in the home inspection, what happens?
  • Are your inspectors infrared (IR) certified?
  • How do you inspect tall roofs above two stories?
  • How is my report delivered to me?
  • How long does it take to get a report?

A good quality home inspector will play a big part in your home inspection. When purchasing  a home, make sure you educate about the process so you can make the best possible decisions.

What Else Do You Need To Know About Home Inspections?

If you still have questions about home inspections and why it’s important to contact a professional, take a look at our FAQ page for more information. If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (908) 206-0073 and one of our friendly team members would be happy to help you.

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