home repair info...
Pipe wrap, most likely containing asbestos fibers, used to insulate heating pipes in the basement of an old house.
Lead Paint, Asbestos, Radon, Mold
Asbestos in Your Home - Information from the EPA about asbestos; a mineral fiber that was commonly used until the 1970's to strengthen materials and provide heat insulation and fire resistance. It can be found wrapped around steam pipes and heating ducts, in furnaces, boilers, and woodstove insulation and door gaskets. It was used in floor tiles, adhesives, cement sheets, siding, roofing, textured paints, artificial fireplace ashes and embers, fireproof gloves, even ironing board covers. While materials in good condition, left alone, will not generally release fibers, handling worn or damaged asbestos materials may create dust which could then be inhaled and/or settle on clothes and furnishings and floors. Do not saw, drill, sand, scrape, sweep, or otherwise disturb materials that may contain asbestos - the potential health risks are caused by breathing in high levels of asbestos fibers, which can be found in the resulting dust.
Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning - a non-profit organization, headquartered in Baltimore, "that creates, implements, and promotes programs and policies to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and further healthy homes." Established in 1986 as Parents Against Lead, the Coalition is now a nationally recognized organization whose services extend throughout Maryland and Delaware, as well as St. Louis and Miami. The organization also provides advisory services to organizations such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Rebuilding Together Baltimore - Thank you Wes!
HUD Healthy Home and Lead Hazard Control - A collection of documents, regulations, and technical guidelines dealing with lead-based paint in housing, including the following brochure, which provides "step-by-step instructions and illustrations" that "explain and show what you need to do to protect yourself and your clients if you are working in older housing that could contain lead paint."
The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right (PDF - 1 MB) - Published by the EPA in April 2010, this brochure contains "Important lead hazard information for families, child care providers and schools."
Lead Paint Safety: A Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance, and Renovation Work (PDF - 1.3 MB) - Generally speaking, if you will be "disturbing" more than 20 square feet of paint on exterior surfaces of a home, and/or more than 2 square feet of paint in any one interior room, and/or more than 10 percent of the total surface area of any small surface (such as window sills, baseboards or trim) the lead paint safety guidelines outlined in this document should be followed.
NOTE: Rebuilding Together Baltimore volunteers will find more specific information about our need to comply with HUD Lead Safe Guidelines on the House Captains & Skill Captains page.
EPA Sources of Indoor Air Pollution - Lead (Pb) - Sources of lead, lead health effects, steps to reduce exposure to lead, additional resources.
Booklets & Brochures about Lead in Paint, Dust, Soil & Drinking Water
- Addressing Indoor Environmental Concerns During Remodeling
- HUD Letter to Christmas in April Affiliates Regarding Lead-based Paint Requirements (PDF - 58 KB)
- Federal Requirements for Volunteer Paint and Rehabilitation Programs (PDF - 40 KB)
- Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home (PDF - 674 KB)
- Lead In Your Home: A Parent's Reference Guide (PDF - 2.1 MB)
- Reducing Lead Hazards When Remodeling Your Home (PDF - 933 KB)
- The Lead-Based Paint Pre-Renovation Education Rule: A Handbook for Contractors, Property Mangers, and Maintenance Personnel (PDF - 360 KB)
- Lead Paint Safety: A Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance, and Renovation Work (PDF - 1.3 MB)
EPA's Indoor Air Quality - studies by the Environmental Protection Agency "indicate that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels." Be sure to check out the section on Improving Indoor Air Quality, which contains information about asbestos, biological contaminants, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, lead, mold, mildew, nitrogen dioxide, pesticides, radon, tobacco smoke, and other volatile organic compounds. How much time do you spend indoors?
Booklets & Brochures about Mold, Mildew and Moisture Control
- A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home
- Mold Resource List
- Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned
- Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings - this document focuses on public buildings but it is applicable to most building types
The Healthy House Institute - this site is designed to help you improve your home's interior environment, especially its indoor air quality. Their links page contains dozens of sites dealing with human health, the indoor environment, energy efficiency, and sustainable construction.
Books published by the Healthy House Institute:
Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon - "Why Should I Test for Radon?" "How Can I Get Reliable Radon Test Results?" "What Should I Do If the Radon Level is High?" These are just a few of the many questions that are answered in this guide. There is also a list of state radon offices and regional EPA offices. Download the guide in PDF format by clicking here (1.8 MB).
USGS Radon Information - contains information from the Energy Resource Surveys Program of the U.S. Geological Survey and links to other information about radon.
Radon Concentration Map - a color coded United States map, which provides "predicted median annual-average living-area concentration, by county" so you will have a general idea if radon is typically an issue in your area.
Infiltec - specializes in air infiltration measurement and control technologies and radon mitigation products, including blower doors, duct leakage testers, radon fans, pipe couplings, gauges, test kits and other related products. Their site contains some excellent information, pictures, drawings, and product catalogs.
RADON.COM - This site is a production of Air Chek, Inc., who makes "the most widely used charcoal test kit in the world." They have slide shows, Radon facts, FAQ's, and links to plenty of other sites with information about Radon. Many building codes require that some type of Radon mitigation be integrated into new homes. Even if it is not required, a vent pipe running from under your basement slab, up through your house and out the roof, might be very good insurance.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration - The OSHA Web site offers technical information, safety guidelines, laws & regulations, statistics, job site posters, publications, and other life safety information.
United States Fire Administration - part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the fire safety section of this site provides information about smoke alarms, residential sprinkler systems, product recalls and facts about fire.