Featured News 2012 How Sublevel Substances Can Affect Your Home

How Sublevel Substances Can Affect Your Home

They say a home is only as good as its' foundation. While in many cases this is true, sometimes what is under the foundation is just as important. Your plot of land has a whole world under the surface. Between the different minerals, creepy crawlies, and various items, this often-forgotten level that can add or depreciate the value of your property. Soil can hold dangerous substances that could not only undermine the value of your home, but endanger your household.

One of these substances is radon, a radioactive gas that is a byproduct of decayed uranium. This silent killer is known to create lung cancer. The EPA estimates that the poison causes 21,000 deadly cases of lung cancer a year. According to a report by Time magazine, radon is most concentrated in Iowa and parts of the Appalachian Mountains. It starts as a decomposition in the soil below your home, and then wiggles its way up through the foundation and into your household, endangering your family. One real estate agent states that you should test your home for this air pollution before trying to sell. If your home and the soil below it is generally radon free, it can add value to your property. Unfortunately, a positive radon level will cost you about a thousand dollars in radon mitigation.

Fumes from construction equipment can also pollute your soil, damage your health, and plummet the value of your house. Densely polluted soil strangles growing plants. This makes gardening virtually impossible. The polluted soil can also be a serious danger to children who enjoy playing outside in the dirt. Other forms of dirt pollution may be prominent in your area. According to BBC news, hidden hazards like an old landfill or a mine shaft can severely depreciate the value of your home. In the UK, over 33,000 land sites are declared as "polluted" with chemicals from a landfill.

In other cases, a crawl space under your foundation may hold toxic mold. Many homes have a small space between the foundation and the top-soil for storage. Unfortunately, these little spaces attract animals, trash, and decay. One Tennessee real estate agent explains that when he bought his home, he was not aware that the previous owner had created a small crawl space under the foundation. In this small space, the builder had forgotten to remove some plywood and paint, which eventually collected an enormous amount of mold. This repulsive, odorous space depreciated the value of the home from the get-go. Crawl spaces are prone to rot and fester because underground moisture can easily leak through the walls, or insects can burrow holes in the building materials. In some instances, the erosion or components in the soil can eventually rot beams that are holding your house up. This can put your home in serious danger of sudden collapse in the event of a natural disaster.

Insects have built their home under the ground, but this can have serious implications for a homeowners. Burrowing critters can flood a home in search of food, and create bug infestations that cost money to fix and can depreciate the value of the home. Other issues, such as old pipes, sewer lines, electric wires, and more can make it difficult to remodel or work to better your home. In some cases, you may not own the land underneath your building at all. In Saint Paul, Minnesota, the state government has been vacillating back and forth on the decision to allow miners to excavate for minerals on privately owned property. Some lucky homeowners may be sleeping above an abundance of copper, nickel, and other expensive materials. In conclusion, when purchasing property, take a close look at the dirt you are standing on. It could hold a blessing or a curse all its own.

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