4 Home Improvements & Repairs That Are Too Dangerous to Delay
Despite how home improvement shows make it seem, not every home upgrade involves quartz counter tops, barn doors, or subway tiles. In fact, the most vital home improvements you can make involve the safety and security of the people, pets, and belongings that make your house a home. Protect those in your home by implementing these four home safety upgrades that are too dangerous to delay.
1. Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Combo
Don’t rely on the same smoke alarm technology you grew up with. Today’s smoke alarms are smarter — and sleeker — plus they protect you from more than just fire. In the United States, approximately 430 people die each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. To keep you safe, smart detectors regularly monitor levels of carbon monoxide in your home and can tell you exactly where any dangerous CO levels are detected.
Some homeowners opt to install separate smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, but the safest bet for your home and family is a combined detector with smart technology to protect you and your loved ones. They allow you to check in on smoke and CO safety remotely using your smartphone or computer — meaning you can monitor and prevent a tragedy no matter where you are.
2. Combat Mold
Concern about toxic mold has grown so much that if you google the term, you’ll get over thirteen million results. This rising concern isn’t surprising since exposure to mold can cause a number of health issues, including upper respiratory complications like asthma and lung infections. Fixing a mold problem in your house can sometimes be invasive and costly. But, the good news is you can take steps to minimize the risk of mold exposure inside your home.
Moisture is the main factor that creates a mold-friendly environment, so you’ll want to manage humidity levels. Promptly repair all leaks and cracks around windows and doors, properly maintain your AC system, and regularly monitor each room’s humidity levels. Depending on where you live, indoor humidity levels between 45% and 55% are recommended. The danger zone that’s conducive to mold growth is between 55% and 80%. If you detect high levels, consider adding a dehumidifier to rooms with more exposure to moisture, like bathrooms.
3. Get Smart About Security
In 2015, the FBI reported that 1,579,527 burglaries occurred nationwide, costing victims an average of $2,316, per incident. In addition to the financial fallout of a break-in, emotional costs also take a toll on your feelings of safety and security. A great way to keep the bad guys out and preserve your family’s sense of safety is with a security system — convicted burglars have reported skipping houses equipped with security systems.
There are many security systems to choose from, but the best way to upgrade home security is to opt for a smart system that you can integrate with other smart devices throughout your home. A smart security system can link to motion detectors, surveillance cameras, and even your smoke/CO alarm. Additionally, the system allows you to automate lights and locks and take advantage of apps that show you what’s going on at home while you’re at the office or a beach cabana.
4. Address That Popcorn Ceiling
Networks like HGTV have made popcorn ceilings public enemy number one when it comes to taste. But these unattractive features are more than an eyesore — they also compromise your home’s safety and your family’s health. The material used to create the popcorn effect often contains asbestos, a harmful substance that has been linked to cancer.
If you have one of these undesirable ceilings, the first thing you should do is get it tested for asbestos. You don’t need to panic if asbestos is in your ceiling, but you do need to act. While you might be tempted to get your DIY on to fix this problem, it’s best to hire an expert — saving a few dollars is not worth the risk to your health. According to Home Advisor, the average cost to remove a popcorn ceiling is just over $1,500.
While it might not seem as fun as adding a plank accent wall, home safety and security upgrades do far more than impress your friends and family — they can save your life. If it’s been awhile since you’ve reviewed your home’s safety, it’s time to get started. Use a comprehensive safety checklist and make home security a priority.