Winter is gone, and we are ready to get our yards and homes back into springtime shape. But before you begin, find out about these 6 things that are often overlooked, and can lead to major damage to your home, costly repairs, and serious health issues. From DIY crafts to gardening to home repairs, following these tips can help to ensure your home or business is a safe and healthy environment. Be sure to add these important items to your to-do list!

1. MAKE SURE YOUR WATER IS SAFE.

Every day, we use our tap water to brush our teeth, bathe, wash clothes and dishes, water our vegetable gardens, and more. If your water contains lead, bacteria, pesticides, or other toxins, your health is at risk. A comprehensive water test will make sure that your water is not harming your family.

lead in waterWell Water

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends that you check your well every spring to make sure there are no mechanical problems, and have it tested once each year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. Every few years you should test for additional contaminants.

Municipal Water

If you get your water from a municipality, take the time to read the quality report on water, which must be published annually. Unfortunately, even if the report is excellent, that does not mean your pipes or fixtures are free from harmful lead or bacteria. The only way to know for sure is to have a licensed professional test water from each faucet in your home. There may be a problem in one faucet, and not the rest. Read more.

2. HAD A PIPE BREAK? TEST FOR MOLD.

pipe break moldIt seems like everyone had a frozen pipe this winter, and unfortunately, many burst. Plumbers and contractors were so busy that many people had to wait for days before the problem was addressed. If you were not able to dry out the area within 24-48 hours, you may have a mold problem that may have gone unnoticed. But as the temperature rises, the wet drywall and insulation behind your walls and ceilings could start growing mold. If you had a pipe break this winter, now is the time to test for mold to avoid a full-blown mold infestation and ensuing costly remediation. Find out more.

3. PLANTING A GARDEN? START WITH SAFE SOIL.

Test Your Soil for ToxinsNow that the weather is warmer, the garden beckons. Thoughts of luscious vegetables and gorgeous flowers make us eager to plant. But before you start turning over the garden, get your soil tested. The soil around your house may contain a variety of contaminants, including lead, pesticides, and heavy metals, which can grow into your vegetables and give you a toxic crop. Don’t waste money by planting in poisons. If your soil is contaminated or not ideal, there are simple ways to improve the quality, like planting a raised bed garden, planting in pots filled with organic soil, or replacing the topsoil. The most important thing is the health and safety of your family and pets. Click here for more information.

4. SPRING ALLERGIES OR MOLD?

Causes of allergiesWhen the flowers bloom and we start sneezing, we assume pollen is to blame. But if you are having problems with allergies or asthma, and medication doesn’t seem to clear it up, have your home tested by an independent professional to see if mold may be the culprit. Another sign that it may be mold: You notice that your allergies are more severe in your home or work environment than anywhere else. If that’s the case, there may be mold in that location. Mold can also grow in air conditioners, washing machines, HVAC units, and humidifiers, so keep your eye out for dark spots and musty odors, and make sure to regularly clean and maintain your appliances. Learn to tell the difference.

 5. STARTING A RENOVATION? KNOW WHAT MATERIALS YOU ARE DISTURBING.

renovation asbestos leadBefore you start swinging the hammer or sanding the paint off the deck, find out what materials you will disturb. If you live in a home built before 1978, you may be releasing toxic lead paint dust or asbestos fibers, which can cause brain damage, cancer, and other serious illnesses. RTK can help you assess potential risks before you renovate, so you don’t contaminate your entire home, property, and even neighborhood, which could lead to a costly cleanup. If a problem exists, we will devise a plan so that you can renovate safely and avoid serious health hazards for you and your family. Learn more.

 6. BREATHE IN CLEAN & HEALTHY AIR.

Toxins in adhesivesHeadaches? Nauseous? Tired for no reason? You are not alone. If you’ve been feeling sick without explanation or without a known cause, you may have an indoor air quality issue caused by everyday items that release volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the environment. VOCs are toxic vapors that are off-gassed from everyday items in your home or workplace, including carpeting, candles, DIY craft supplies, bedding and pillows, photocopiers and printers, and more. If you think your air may be causing your symptoms, have an indoor air quality test to determine if you have high levels of VOCs, and pinpoint where they are coming from. Find out what common items in your home may be polluting your air.

If you have question or would like to schedule a test, please call us at (800) 392-6468. We’re happy to help!

Testing for lead isn’t required in the US — and so doctors miss children exposed to the toxin. (Vox)

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