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Did you know that asbestos and lead based paint are still a big problem? Are you aware of the hidden dangers in our walls? In Portland, thousands of homes are affected by these dangerous materials and when it comes to renovating, you don’t want to be surprised. For one, you wouldn’t want harm to come to yourself or your loved ones and secondly, the DEQ and EPA will be swarming the place, handing out fines and making sure it’s taken care of in the proper manner, which we are all thankful for, but it does cause delays and a big change in your project budgeting.

So how do you know if it’s asbestos? It’s not like your home came with a manual mapping out exactly where the carcinogens were placed. Asbestos isn’t always obvious. Asbestos cement pipes and tiles are labeled, but you might not know this until you have already uncovered them.  There is a protocol if you have discovered asbestos while working on your and it’s important that you follow safety guidelines. You can find these online at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/em1.pdf

Lead Paint. Yep, this is still around too and you won’t know if until you go get it tested. There is a simple solution to this one, you can get test strips and peel off a piece of paint that you suspect is lead based, but thankfully Lead based paint hasn’t been manufactured since 1978 when it was banned. Still if your house was built before 1978,  there’s a chance you could have some in your house. Again the joint EPA-HUD or even CDC can give you guidelines on what to do if you find lead based paint in your home. Go to http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips.htm

On another note, make sure that when you hire out contractors, they follow these guidelines as well because as the homeowner you are ultimately responsible for what goes on on your property. Get informed and stay safe from the harmful materials and potential big  fines that come from the hidden dangers in our walls.

And as always, if a project is too big and you need to sell. Call us today for a quick visit and we’ll get you an offer tomorrow with no out of pocket expenses or repairs needed.  503-560-6620