Many dangers may exist in your home. If you aren’t vigilant, they could endanger your family. Most real estate laws require full disclosure, but past owners may not even be aware of the problems. Here are four serious hazards you should check for.

Radon

Radon is a gas that occurs naturally during the breakdown of radioactive minerals. It can seep into basements and accumulate in the air. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. In the US, the gas is found mainly along the East Coast and upper Midwest. Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, so you’ll never know it’s there. Have your air tested, and install a radon detector to stay safe.

Asbestos

Today, the toxicity of this substance is well known, but these materials were used in many older homes. Asbestos was used for its fire resistant qualities in many home products such as tile and insulation before it was banned in 1985. This fibrous material is a known cause of lung cancer and other respiratory disorders. If you suspect you have asbestos in your home, stay away from it and call a professional asbestos removal service.

Wiring

Older homes or newer homes with poor electrical work can pose a risk. Shorts can cause sparks that ignite flammable materials such as dry, exposed wood, debris, or some older insulation materials. Copper wiring can lose conductivity over time, while aluminum connections can loosen with repeated contraction and expansion from winter to summer temperatures. If any of the outlets or switches in your home feel warm, or if there are buzzing noises or burned/melted odors, turn everything off and call an electrician.

Plumbing

Leaks in your home can soak into wood to create warping and rot in your home’s structure. Damp spots, even after the leak is fixed, can also draw mold. These are tiny fungi that can cause lung disorders, in some cases even internal bleeding and death. Once started, a mold colony will continue to grow. Your best protection is to have a licensed plumber inspect your system to detect and repair any leaks.

Call a plumber like Royalty Plumbing and Gas or a similar business in your area ASAP if you have a burst pipe or clogged drain that could lead to water damage, unsanitary conditions, or a breeding ground for dangerous mold.  In many homes there may be hazards that are difficult to spot. It’s important to have your home inspected and call a licensed professional to deal with the situation.