Home safety is not a sexy topic by any means, but when it comes to your home, few aspects provide more sleepless nights than home safety. That is why it’s always important to make sure your home is free of harmful substances such as lead, toxins, asbestos and many more.
Most of the following projects do require a professional and the averages below reflect this assumption. So, whether you just bought a new home, are preparing your old home for a remodel or just want peace of mind, see below as I go over nine home safety projects and their costs.
1. Mold Testing
Sooner or later, all homeowners will have to deal with mold. Whether through a flood or humid environments, mold is a more prevalent issue than most homeowners give it credit for.
If untreated, mold can cause serious health problems over time. While some mold can be dealt with yourself, others are very dangerous, so like many of the projects discussed, we recommend hiring a professional.
According to our mold inspection cost estimator, the average cost of mold testing is $1,217. Just know, your home’s size and flood damage (if applicable) will play a key role in the overall cost.
2. Lead Testing
Lead-based paints used to be the standards in homes across the country. Nine out of 10 buildings built before 1940 will most likely have lead paint. Eight out of 10 pre-1960 buildings and six out of 10 pre-1978 buildings are likely to have lead paint as well.
Nonetheless, while lead is a toxic material, the presence of it doesn’t always require removal. If lead-based paint is under layers of lead-free paint, then there may not be a health problem. Only when lead paint is rubbed, scratched or disturbed by water leaks or a renovation project does harmful lead enter the air you breathe.
Hiring a pro is a must when it comes to lead. It costs $343 to test or remove lead.
3. Asbestos Testing & Removal
Asbestos is another chemical that can cause great harm if you come in direct contact with it. Typically, asbestos is only revealed during a renovation, but if your home was built before 1978, you should get it tested for asbestos.
Hiring a professional to test your home for asbestos will cost somewhere between $1,267 and $1,955. Sadly, removing asbestos is also expensive, costing on average, $2,000.
The removal part of the process has to be done when the home is empty. Likewise, the doors and windows have to be sealed during the process to limit exterior contamination. Part of the total expense depends on where the asbestos was used. Removing it from interior insulation or from the roof, for example, can be more expensive than simply removing tiles or replacing all of the siding.
4. Asbestos Siding Removal
Even homes built with asbestos will not always need replacing. If asbestos fibers are not loose, the siding should be repairable, but in some cases, may need to be removed. Nonetheless, even if the asbestos siding on a house becomes damaged, consultation and inspection with a licensed asbestos removal and repair contractor is necessary.
The average cost to repair asbestos siding is $938, but we have seen costs as low as $462 and as high as $1,550. The actual cost will depend on the extent of the damage, whether the asbestos fibers are loose or friable and whether environmental permits and inspections are needed.
The least expensive and fastest asbestos siding repair option is encapsulation. This is essentially painting over the damaged siding. Covering the siding is another option. The contractor will lay insulation boards and then put new siding on top of the old asbestos siding. Finally, the most expensive option for repairing asbestos siding is to replace it.
5. Pest Control Service
Many homeowners attempt to get rid of pests on their own, but when push comes to shove, only a professional insect control service will ease your worries. If cheap over the counter solutions are not getting rid of those pesky termites, ants, cockroaches and spiders, hiring a pest control service if your best bet.
According to our insect control cost estimator, the average price to hire a pest control service is $250. However, while the overall cost will be more, it will be cheaper per visit if you sign up for a monthly service.
The overall cost will largely depend on the pest in question. For example, bed bugs are much harder to spot then say a family of spiders. Therefore, testing for bed bugs is a bit more expensive.
Furthermore, mice, while also being a huge pain, can cause damage throughout the house as they eat away at your ground and bury through your walls. Needless to say, mice extermination will also be a costly endeavor.
6. Air Quality
Needless to say, poor air quality greatly affects those with respiratory problems, allergies or asthma, but it can also have long-term side effects for those who do not address the issue. Poor air quality may make even the healthiest individuals more susceptible to illnesses over time.
Finding the source of poor air not easy to the naked eye. While you can visually observe problems like dust and mold in some spaces, these materials can move into hidden spaces. Therefore, testing your indoor air quality generally requires a trained professional.
On average, it costs $382 to test your air quality.
7. Radon Gas Testing & Mitigation
According to the EPA, radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Due to the health risks, all homes should be tested and if the gas is found, it needs to be removed.
Sadly, similar other items already discussed, radon gas is odorless, colorless and radioactive. It comes from the breakdown of uranium, which is present in soil, water and natural gas around the country. Since there are different types or radon gas, a license radon tester is needed.
The overall price for radon gas testing and mitigation is $755, but can change depending on the method chosen, such as suction, sub-slab, ventilation, sealing or all the above. Sealing the foundation prevents radon from getting in while the ventilation, suction, and sub-slab depressurization removes the gas that does get in and ventilates it to the outdoor environment.
8. Lightning Protection
The final two projects are for extreme circumstances, but nonetheless, should be considered when addressing to home safety.
While it is highly unlikely, a single bolt of lightning during a thunderstorm can do significant damage to your home. Besides starting a fire, lightning can fry your electrical systems as well as any electronic items plugged in at the time of the strike.
Lightning protection, while not cheap, can protect you and your family. The average cost of lightning protection ranges between $897 and $1,395.
9. Storm Shelter
I saved the most expensive for last. Storm shelters are rarely used, but surprisingly, even the largest and most secure homes may not be able to withstand a natural disaster. Additionally, when it comes to life and death, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
According to our storm shelter cost estimator, most shelters range between $7,293 and $9,623.
Home safety is as exciting as a bathroom remodel, but a topic that can largely affect your family’s quality of life. As such, it’s important to never underestimate the significance of the preceding projects.
For more safety tips, please see Home Emergency & Disaster Safety.