You Need to Avoid These Dangerous Home Hazards

People will always feel safe in their own homes, or so it seems. However, some homes may carry some dangerous hazards from a variety of internal and external factors. Here are the most common home hazards homeowners may likely encounter.

Lead Paint

Lead from paint or any source is dangerous for children and pets. Homes constructed before the 1980’s are most likely painted with lead paint. Seek professional help to test your home for lead content in the paint. You may not know that the paint used in your home was manufactured in China which still uses lead paint products.

Quality of Indoor Air

A room filled with rugs or carpeting will most likely have impure indoor air quality because rugs and carpets are quick magnets for dust. Try using laminated or hardwood flooring and regularly check the air filtration system to make sure of the indoor air quality to avoid getting asthma and allergies.

Radioactive Radon

This is a radioactive gas can leak into your home through cracks in the foundation. Radon is proven to be the second leading cause of cancer, most especially lung cancer. Radon usually leaks from cracked or broken natural gas lines that have seeped into the ground.

Electrical Fires

Most electrical fires are the result of old wiring or overloading of extension wires or wall outlets. Have your home inspected by an electrician so faulty and old outlets and wiring can be replaced.

Carbon Monoxide

This toxic gas is one of the leading causes of accidental poisoning deaths, especially if the garage is attached to the home or if the garage door has a faulty ventilation system. Poisoning accidents usually happens when cars or grills are left unattended in a poorly ventilated space. It can also happen if there is poor ventilation when ovens, water heaters, furnaces, and fire places are present in the home.

Asbestos

Found to be a carcinogen and finally banned for home products in the 1990’s, asbestos may still be found in older homes. Have your home professionally inspected for possible products using or made from asbestos. If they are not broken, there is no immediate danger, but it’s best if these products are completely replaced.

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Is It Time for Your Home to Go Solar?

It’s Cheaper Now

When the idea of solar energy first became practical and usable technology in the 1990’s, even up to the early 2000’s, it was expensive to use solar rechargeable batteries. Today, the cost of installing and using a solar power system is down from 50 to 70 percent, depending on where the system is manufactured. Since a typical home solar system runs from 3kW to 7kW, the average household can recoup its upfront energy in 7 years. In some areas where there is more sunshine and more solar energy used, after 7 years the electric grid is often replaced by the solar battery.

Technology has made solar energy system more compact

Unlike in the past, all you need now is around 100 square feet for all your mounted panels, the inverter, the converter battery, and the monitoring system. This is then tied in to the electric grid.

The government will now lend a helping hand

At the start of President Obama’s presidency, the federal government is now offering a tax credit write off up to 30 percent when you install a solar energy system. Some state financing is offering home-equity loans or low-cost solar loans. Federal incentives are further offered such as energy rebates, sales or property tax exemptions from the state or local electric utility.

You can now rent

Some solar companies now offer solar energy system rentals. With the solar lease, you only pay a fixed monthly rental, and with the fast recoup of upfront electric energy, in some instances the electric grid you only consume on a minimal basis may actually pay for your solar lease. Part of the contract for solar lease insures that the system is maintained and repaired by the installer.

Naturally, you never leave the grid

Your system is still tied to the grid, so during long periods of cloudy or rainy weather, or during the winter when sunshine is weak, you can still use the grid. If your solar energy produces more electricity than you use, the excess is stored and the grid remains unused. One advantage of solar energy is in case of a power outage, and so long as there’s enough energy stored in the battery, you never run out of electricity.

Installers are all over the place and no longer expensive

With more affordable systems come more affordable installers. This is because installation of the new technology is no longer complicated compared to around 10 years ago. You can find affordable solar companies all over North America for your convenience.

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Practical DIY Home Improvement Weekend Projects That Cost Little

These 20 DIY home improvement weekend projects may not cost a lot, but they’ll make a big difference in how your home functions. Complete one or more of these projects during the weekends.

Replace a Window Treatment

Has the window shade above your kitchen sink been marred by repeated exposure to splashes and cooking liquids? Replace a stained window covering with an inexpensive fabric treatment and see your kitchen in a whole new light.

Tackle Trim Work

You might not be able to install new trim work in your home for $20, but you can make improvements to what you already have. Replace mismatched, missing, or damaged moldings, end caps, quarter rounds, or baseboard. Curved areas might require a special piece or trim made of an alternate material.

Organize the Entry

Keep dirt and mud contained with a boot tray near your home’s entryway. Buy one that’s easy to clean, or create your own from a jelly-roll pan. If storage space is limited, tuck the tray beneath a slim console table.

Elevate or Organize a Closet

Coax function from a messy closet with thoughtful accessories designed to elevate organization. Categorize hanging garments by type, day of the week, or family member with colorful tags. Slim, slip-free hangers look uniform and maximize space.

Replace Switchplates with Non-Plastic Alternatives

Replace a plastic switchplate with a wood, metal, or ceramic cover to make a visual statement. Some switchplates are even textured to blend in with marble, tile, or stone surfaces. Do this for light switches, electrical outlets, and phone and cable jacks.

Mend Your Walkway

Cracks and gaps in sidewalks and walkways can quickly expand throughout the year. Not only will a patch job make your pathway look nice, it’ll also make it safer for visitors and passersby. Fix your sidewalk with a patching compound alternative specifically made for cement.

Update with Paint

Breathe new life into an old piece of furniture with a fresh coat of paint. For wood pieces, remove dirt or wax buildup with a household cleaner and rinse. Sand rough areas and wipe away dust. Apply two coats of stain-blocking primer and allow it to dry between coats. Roll or brush on two coats of latex paint in the direction of the wood grain, and use a brush to finish the surface with smooth strokes.

Update Door Hardware

All it takes is a screwdriver and few minutes to give your front door a facelift. Change clashing or poorly operating door hardware, make house numbers more readable, or add a door knocker.

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