The real estate season is upon us, and having a home inspection can be an effective way to deal with lung related issues.  Information on home inspection reports mainly relates to the structures systems, but there are three common dangers to lung health that a report might comment on.

  1. Asbestos —Most uses of asbestos were outlawed in 1978. Many products with asbestos are not recognized during an inspection, and inspectors are not required to comment on any of them.  But, most Home Inspectors will call out some of these common asbestos products:  asbestos roofing and siding, flooring tiles, asbestos wrapped pipes or electrical items.  Be sure to ask about asbestos if the home was built before 1978.  As a side note, 1978 is also when lead in paint was outlawed.  It is a good date to know when buying an older home.
  1. Radon —A radon test is not required, but it’s worth the extra cost to get one considering Pennsylvania measures high in radon levels when compared to other states. According to the state Environmental Protection Agency, once a house tests high, it will always test high.  Ask your agent if the home has been tested before.  If they know, they have to tell you, and they have to give you the results.
  1. Mold—People have different sensitivities to mold. Some have no reaction, while others have severe reactions.  If a buyer knows they have an asthmatic condition, or they knowingly react to mold, then having additional testing done is strongly advised.  In such a case, one should ask for an inspector who is a certified indoor air professional that can do comprehensive testing with recommendations.  Relying on a single swab sample might not give the whole picture.

A final thing to watch out for is a sale where the deal fell through.  There are many reasons, unrelated to the three previous issues, for a deal to fall through.  However, all three of these issues are common reasons for a buyer to walk away.  You can always ask.  Check the disclosures before you make an offer.  Such issues, if known, are required to be listed there.  However, these are also common areas for people to turn the other cheek. Proper testing is the only sure way to know.