Terry's Tips are personal observations based on my experience and seeing the cause and effects of things. There may be many ways to address different problems and all opinions are welcome. I am always open to suggestions and certainly want you to correct me on any mistakes that might be written.
If you live in an older home and plan on doing some remodeling here are a couple things to keep in mind. 1. Understand that as of April 22, 2010 The Renovation, Repair, and Painting Law is in place. This is a federal law that requires EPA certified contractors to perform specific practices when dealing with lead paint. This law although good for health reasons has added a significant amount of time to any jobs that might be performed on a property. There are 12 steps the EPA certified contractors must follow. This can add a significant amount of labor dollars to any repairs done on the home. If the home was built prior to 1978 it is either assumed that lead paint exists or testing is required to prove otherwise. 2. Understand that in the 1970's there where more than 3000 consumer and industrial products that contained asbestos. Some of the most common areas that show up in homes are 9X9 tile floors, roofing shingles, exterior siding, attic insulation, vermiculite, pipe and duct insulation, and popcorn ceiling finishes. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the sale of consumer patching compounds that contain asbestos in 1978. So it is important that you do your own research and test any suspected areas prior to disturbing them. 3. Upgrade wiring if you have old Knob and Tube. Be advised that this is an obsolete 1st generation type of wiring that does NOT provide modern grounded circuits. Dry, brittle insulation has been known to fall off and cause fires. Any exposed live connections pose shock hazards. Since this was designed to be air cooled. You can not cover it with insulation. This could cause a fire hazard. Updating while walls are open just makes sense. 4. If your home was built before 1930, it is likely to contain lead piping. If it was built before 1988, it is likely to contain piping joined by lead-based solder. Water that runs through the pipes after a long period of non-use will pose the greatest threat of lead contamination. In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA sets the minimum acceptable level for lead at under 15 parts per billion (1 part per billion = 1.0 microgram per liter or .001 milligram per liter). You can address high levels in different ways. Obviously if you test for lead removing the sources is best, but you can add filtation systems if that is not feasible.