Many of our clients love the look and feel of an older home—and we love what they love! But the biggest concern that we like to communicate with our clients is the dangers lurking behind their walls. Whether you have lived in your home for years, or you just bought it, you should run through this quick checklist to see if your house is safe for occupancy. 

Lead Paint 

If you are living a home that was built before 1978, there is a likely chance that it has lead paint on the walls. The danger lies in the dust that comes from lead paint, as it can be very harmful if ingested. 

There is a danger even if you and many others have painted the walls since the house was built. This is because the paint is likely to chip or peel in high-traffic or temperate areas, such as doors, banisters, and window sills. 



Asbestos was the most popular form of insulation in construction before the 1990s. A lot of older buildings still have asbestos as insulation, which is super dangerous for people to be breathing in. Over-time, asbestos particles will float through the house as it begins to break down over time or if it is disturbed in a renovation. Asbestos is only dangerous when people breathe in the fibres. Some health risks associated with asbestos include: 

  • Asbestosis: scarring of the lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe
  • Mesothelioma: a rare cancer of the lining of the chest or abdominal cavity
  • Lung cancer: smoking can significantly increase this risk



If you are renting or own a home in a complex that has a pool, you must ensure that the building is following pool zoning rules. You want to ensure there are proper barriers with child-resistant gates in place and that the fence is at least 5” high. You also want to ask the property manager about the swimming pool drain cover to ensure that it is compliant with regulations that minimize suction entrapment.

Water Heater 

You want to ensure that your water heater is set to a max temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scalding. Make it an annual habit to check your water heater to ensure nothing has changed over the summer months. 


Radiators & Fireplaces

Ensure that your radiator and fire are covered to prevent burns. You also want to ensure that your chimney is cleaned annually so that there is no soot or build up debris. If you use your radiator and fireplace often, you also want to ensure that your carbon monoxide detector and fire alarm are both working. 



Protect yourself and your loved ones by going through this checklist. Have other suggestions that we missed? Drop us a line at [email protected] 

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