PCCU Partners with Cope Environmental Center on a Second Green Home Workshop
Back in November PCCU partnered with Cope Environmental Center to bring educational workshops to our collective members. The second in that series took place on Wednesday, March 26th at PCCU's Richmond Branch at 77 South 37th Street. This workshop focused on the hidden dangers that are sometimes found in older homes and that can be revealed by a thorough home inspection.
Alison Clark Zajdel, Director of Cope Environmental Center, spoke about the Living Building Challenge that Cope is undertaking as they expand their facility. If they can complete the many obstacles the Challenge presents they will be only the sixth building in the world to do so. With this workshop's focus Alison spoke about the difficulties they were having in selecting and sourcing building materials. Even commonly used items, like PVC pipes, were off limits and they were required to find a substitute.
The next speaker was Bill Halstead, of Halstead Home Inspections, LLC. He gave an excellent presentation about the dangers of several building materials used in older homes that were once considered the best choice, until some of the health and safety implications were later realized. Some homeowners there had their home, that was built in the 1890s, tested for lead. They were surprised to discover that there was lead present, but that paint was not the culprit, rather varnish in the wood around their windows.
He also explained some of the dangers of asbestos, and detailed some of the many products it was once used in. It can be found in a wide array of places in your home including insulation, pipe wrapping and even floor tiles. He also pointed out that though it can be tempting to be handy and tackle the problem yourself that it's often best practice to hire a professional with the correct equipment and training to do the cleanup the correct way.
Then Michael Sweet, with Lingle Real Estate, spoke about the edge a completed home inspection could give a seller. It allows them to factor in the price of any necessary repairs before putting the house on the market, rather than after a price has been negotiated down with the buyer and then discovering that you'll need to either bear the cost of that repair on top of it, or make a further concession at closing. A home inspection can be presented to potential buyers and give them more confidence in purchasing the home with less concern for hidden problems. Of course he always recommends buyers hire a home inspector to find problems before the sale, rather than after.
The workshop delivered a great deal of useful information about the hidden dangers in older homes. It helped homeowners make their homes safer by understanding some of the silent danger hidden within. It also helped home buyers and seller make more educated choices and save money. Finally, it served to remind us that the choices we make today can long outlast us and encouraged us to make those choices with an eye on the future.
For more info about Lead, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's Website at:
For more info about Asbestos, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's Website at: