Real Estate & Environmental Hazards


Potentially Harmful Environmental Hazards & Other Building Material Hazards

When dealing with real estate in Flagstaff, Arizona or anywhere else you will run into environmental hazards. Village Land Shoppe wants to make sure you are aware of these and take precautions in detecting, fixing and monitoring. It's better to know up front, rather than when it's too late. Here are some of the environmental hazards, links and general information.

Village Land Shoppe wants to help protect you and your families.


Radon - Radon is a gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. Radon comes from uranium in the ground that breaks down into a gas. Great so how do we detect it and what are the possible effects? Radon is known to cause cancer and is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in America and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Detection: There are a couple ways of detection, 1. Electronically or with equipment your local radon testing company has. 2. Canisters. These canisters are placed inside the home and then mailed to a lab. There are two types of tests, long-term & short term. The EPA recommends long term testing before mitigation. Radon can spike and go back down. In a real estate transaction your are not able to do a long term test because of the time constraints (typically a 10 to 15 day inspection period). So if high levels occur there is a choice to make, mitigate, buy and monitor or not proceed the home. The EPA says to mitigate if your home is at 4 pCi/L or higher. Other countries have different standards. Mitigation typically consists of using special fans to get the radon and disperse it somewhere else before it gets in your home. Whether you have a crawl space or a slab you will draw the air out from underneath and release into the are, now the way you do it is different (follow links for more info).
For more information, information on how to mitigate, if you should mitigate and what the government believes safe levels are, visit: http://www.epa.gov/radon/

Mold - A fungus that produces spores. Mold happens even in the "dry southwest". Mold can occur from just venting you dryer to a crawl space or attic or from a sink leak. Anywhere moister is present, there is a chance for mold. Mold can cause several medical problems however not all mold effects people or effects people in the same way. It is important to test your home for mold and take the necessary precautions. Generally remediation starts with microbial products, followed by sanding and then applying primmer paint to help keep the mold away. Mold can grow on almost anything and then can multiple, so it is important to stop it as soon as possible. What if the mold is in the walls? Your local mold specialist can take air samples from a small hole in the wall.

Asbestos - Asbestos is a mineral with long fibrous crystals. Asbestos was used in building for its ability to withstand heat, electricity and chemical damage. So its a miracle product? No, asbestos is know to cause tumors, cancer & other medical issues. Asbestos is no-longer used in the US for building, however if you have an older homes check for it and there are specific state laws dealing with disposal. More info: https://www.epa.gov/asbestos

Lead & Lead Based Paint - Lead was used in paints and a variety of other things. This use of lead in paint was banned in the US in 1978 and was generally stopped being produced earlier that that. Lead has been found to be toxic and should not be used. Lead can effect your kids even before they are born and can cause developmental problems. Lead can also effect adults leading to reproductive problems, high blood pressure, joint pain and other issues. Lead enters the body mainly through the mouth but can also be inhaled if there is lead in the dust.
For more information: http://www.epa.gov/lead/
Carbon Monoxide - Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, almost odorless and tasteless gas or liquid. Carbon Monoxide can cause chest pain, fatigue, impaired vision, headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, flu-like symptoms and even fatal. Carbon monoxide usually comes from burnt gases (gas furnace, wood stove, gas water heater, gas stove, cars, buses & boats to name a few). It can be fatal and should be monitored by detectors in your home and can be found at your local department or home store. Yes vehicles and boats push it out their exhausts, so use caution in closed and OPEN areas. Some people think just because you are in the garage with a car started and the door down you will have a problem. Swimming behind an idling boat can harm you.

Termites, Ants & other destroying organisms - When owning a home or buying a home it is important to protect against home destroying organisms. Termites and Ants are some of the most destructive, however not the only ones that can do damage. The easiest way to keep them out is to make it harder for them to get in. Keep wood from touching the ground to the house, don't store debris too close to the home or under, keep dirt away from all decks & fences and check your home for signs of infestation or deterioration. Your local termite & bug companies can help educate on what to look for, how to treat or how to be proactive and treat before infestation happens.

Formaldehyde Adhesives & VOC's Formaldehyde adhesives and VOC's - volitile organic compounds are used in several building materials (glues, paints, unvented fuel-burning appliances, fiberboard's and much more). Formaldehyde is yet another colorless however pungent-smelling gas. It may trigger asthma attacks, lung issues, allergies, allergic reactions, cancer and other issues.
For more information see: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/technical-overview-volatile-organic-compounds

Village Land Shoppe, Inc. - Flagstaff Real Estate Services

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