Finding and Creating a Healthy Home
Are you looking for a new home? Or do you want to ensure your current home is healthy for
you and your family? Take this list and go around your home or rental. Be sure to ask
these questions of your landlord or realtor.General
- What year was the home built? If your home was built before 1978, ask if it has been tested for lead paint.
- Is there chipping or peeling paint? If the home is older than 1978, the paint may contain lead.'
- Pay special attention to high friction areas, such as windows and door jams.
- Are the stairs, porches, and railings present and in good condition?
- Are there working /sufficient lights outside? This will improve safety at night.
- Are there working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor?
- Does the home have enough outlets? Using splitters and extension cords can be a fire hazard.
- Is the roof in good condition? Look for areas that may be worn or sagging.
- Are the gutters and downspouts in good condition? Does the water drain away from the home?
- If not, water intrusion may occur and cause mold growth.
- Is the siding and foundation in good condition?
- Is the home well-insulated? Are there drafts or cold spots? What were the previous gas and electricity bills?
- Are there holes where pests can enter, or have there been pest issues in the past? Look around the foundation, basement windows, and porches or decks.
Living Room and Bedrooms
- Can you see any water damage or mold? Check under the sink and refrigerator.
- Is there any evidence of mice, rats, or cockroaches? Look for droppings, bite marks, dead insects, and traps along the bottom of the stove, refrigerator, and inside cabinets.
- What kind of flooring is there? A hardwood, tile or vinyl floor is easier to clean. Carpet can trap dust and other allergens.
- Can you see any water damage or mold? Check the ceiling, in closet corners, on winder sills, and patio doors.
- Can you tell if the previous residents smoked inside? Smells and smoke stains can stay in the home for many years. This may create or exasperate lung and other health problems.
- Can you tell if the previous residents had pets? If you or a family member has allergies or asthma, leftover pet urine and allergens may cause problems.
- Do the windows open in each room? Do they have screens? This allows for ventilation and an escape route in case of a fire.
- Does the bathroom have a vent or window to the outside? This will help prevent mold and moisture problems.
- Can you see any water damage, mildew, or mold? Check around the tub and toilet, on the ceiling, and underneath the sink.
- Can you see or smell any signs of mold, water damage, or mildew? If so, water may be getting into the basement.'
- Has the basement been tested for radon? Radon is an invisible gas that is the second leading cause for lung cancer.
- Is there a washer and a dryer? Does the dryer vent to the outside?
- Is the water heater and furnace in good condition? Well maintained appliance can help save on energy bills.
- Is there any evidence of mice, rats or any other pests? Look for places the can enter, droppings, dead insects/animals, bite marks, and traps.