The St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves is described as charming, hip, eclectic, historic, quaint, and more. Over 150 years ago, the city’s location on Pacific Railroad line spurred its population growth. In 1892, community developers touted Webster Groves as the "Queen of the Suburbs", an alternative to the late 19th century overcrowding and unhealthy conditions in St. Louis proper.
Their marketing efforts paid off. There are currently over 10,000 homes in Webster Groves with a population of nearly 25,000.
Drive the streets of Webster Groves, and you can see the depiction of its neighborhoods as quaint and charming is more than appropriate. The majority of Webster Groves homes were built before 1960 with many homes over a century old. With that history comes a set of challenges for homeowners. If you are considering a move to Webster Groves, make sure to take the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of your family. This includes thorough environmental testing for lead, asbestos, and mold.
Here at St. John Environmental Consulting, we know the home buying process is overwhelming and testing for asbestos or lead can be overlooked. Several myths and misconceptions about lead, asbestos, and mold also lead buyers to skip testing for their presence. Let’s bust the top three myths for lead, asbestos, and mold, and get to the truth that keeps you and your family safe.
Myths about Asbestos
Asbestos is always easy to identify.
Reality. Asbestos may be found in any number of building materials, including insulation, flooring, ceiling tiles, and more. However, it’s not always easy to tell whether a material contains asbestos just by looking at it. The best way to determine if a material contains asbestos is to have it tested by the qualified professionals at St. John Environmental Consulting. Once the material has been confirmed to contain asbestos, you can then take the appropriate measures to manage it.
Asbestos is only a problem if it’s disturbed.
Reality: It’s true that asbestos is most dangerous when it’s friable, or easily crumbled. That being said, even asbestos that is not friable can still pose a risk to your health. Asbestos materials can break down over time due to normal wear and tear, and may release dangerous fibers into the air. For this reason, it’s important to know whether your home contains asbestos and to take appropriate steps to address the issue.
Asbestos removal is always necessary.
Reality: While it’s true that asbestos can be dangerous, not all asbestos-containing materials need to be removed immediately. If the asbestos is contained and not likely to be disturbed, it may be safe to leave it alone. You should leave it to the experts at St. John Environmental to determine the best course of action.
Myths about Lead
Lead is only found in older homes.
Reality: Many people believe that lead is only present in homes that were built before the 1970s when lead paint was used extensively. However, lead can still be found in many modern products and materials. For example, lead can be present in some ceramics, vinyl mini-blinds, and even in some imported toys. Additionally, if you live near a highway or industrial area, your soil could be contaminated with lead from exhaust fumes or industrial pollution.
Lead poisoning only affects children.
Reality: While children are at a higher risk of lead poisoning due to their developing bodies, lead exposure can affect people of all ages. Symptoms of lead poisoning include headaches, abdominal pain, fatigue, and memory loss. Over time, lead exposure can cause serious health problems, including anemia, reproductive issues, and damage to the brain and nervous system. Pregnant women who are exposed to lead are also at risk of complications such as premature birth and developmental delays in their babies.
Testing for lead is expensive and time-consuming.
Reality: Many homeowners believe that testing for lead in their homes is costly and time-consuming. However, testing your home for lead is a simple and affordable process. If you suspect that your home has lead-based paint or the presence of lead in other areas, make the call to St. John Environmental Consulting to evaluate the extent of the contamination.
Myths about Mold
All molds are dangerous and toxic.
Reality: This is a common misconception about mold. While some types of mold can be toxic and cause health problems, not all molds are harmful. In fact, many types of mold are completely harmless and are found in our everyday environment. It's important to understand that not all molds are created equal. Fortunately, the qualified professionals at St. John Environmental Consulting will test for the presence of mold in your home and identify the types for your peace of mind.
My home can be 100% mold free.
Reality: Homeowners should know that mold spores are present all the time, both inside and outside the home. It is impossible to eliminate all mold spores from the environment. You might have conditions in your home that increase the chance of mold growth including high humidity levels and poor ventilation. Professional environmental testing means comprehensive inspection and testing of suspicious mold growth.
You can remove mold on your own with bleach.
Reality: Bleach can remove surface mold, but it doesn't necessarily kill the mold spores that exist below the surface. Even worse, bleach can actually make the situation worse by adding more moisture to the affected area and creating a better environment for mold to grow. In many cases, professional mold remediation may be necessary. St. John Environmental Consulting does not offer remediation services, though we can point you in the right direction. This guarantees our findings are unbiased and reliable.
One of the integral components of the home buying process is testing the environmental quality of the property.
It not only protects your investment, it protects your family from potential severe health risks. Hire St. John Environmental Consulting before signing on the dotted line. Our thorough and efficient inspection process can unveil hidden hazards in our home and provide necessary documentation that require inspections were completed. Most importantly, our inspections provide you peace of mind. You will feel more at ease when all the noxious substances around the property have been detected, measured, and reported to you. By hiring St. John Environmental Consulting, you can be assured that the health of you and your family are our top priority.