Buying an old home can have its advantages as long as you know what to look for. Here are 5 items to look out for when looking at old homes:
1. Carbon Monoxide
This invisible, odorless gas can be deadly. Carbon monoxide is often emitted from fuel-burning appliances in older homes like fireplaces, stoves, clothes dryers, space heaters and water heaters. Even small amounts of this gas can cause dizziness, headaches, disorientation, fatigue and nausea. Old homes are especially prone to carbon monoxide issues if they have outdated appliances.
2. Dust Mites
These tiny critters pose serious danger to your health. Although they cannot be seen with the naked eye, dust mites are very common. They thrive in moist environments and dine on dead skin cells. Often found in pillows, beds, sheets and mattresses, these critters are frequently responsible for allergies and asthma. Dust mites are most frequently found in older homes, especially in carpets. Consider getting pest control in Santa Barbara before moving into a home you suspect has dust mites.
A musty odor in the bathroom, basement or closet could be a sign that the house has mold. The moisture in these places makes them an ideal breeding ground for mold spores, but having a good water damage defense can help prevent against that. These pesky fungi feed on paint, dust, wood, paper, oil, cotton and even drywall. Mold is especially harmful to people with allergies or asthma. A home inspector can help you determine the extent of the mold and identify the source. From there, you can make an informed decision on your home purchase.
Although they have become common in many households, most mothballs are harmful pesticides. Once these chemicals can enter your body through ingestion, inhalation or dermal contact, they can cause issues like anemia or liver damage. Mothballs have also been linked to neurological damage in infants. Short-term exposure can cause nausea, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, confusion or jaundice.
5. Carpet Chemicals
If you are looking at an old home that has recently been renovated, watch out for harmful carpet chemicals. These chemicals, including 4-PC, can cause headaches or hoarseness. If the new-carpet smell does not go away within a week of ventilation, the carpet may need to be removed.
When it comes to buying an old home, safety should be a top concern. Although older homes may be less expensive than a new house, the money you spend on pest control or repairing mold damage may negate the savings. Looking out for these items can help you ensure that you are truly getting a deal.