Part of buying or selling a home usually entails a home inspection – an in-depth survey of a home foundation, structure, systems (such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical), and more. While not all home inspections are equal or even thorough, each can turn up something wrong with the home. Some will be small problems or simply good point to negotiate a price for the home, but others can pose a bigger risk. Today let’s look at what happens if a home inspection turns up asbestos.
Where is the Asbestos Located?
The first question is where the asbestos is located. The risk and cost for removal of a single room’s floor would be significantly different than an attic’s insulation or the internal walls of a home. Let’s look at some of the common areas:
- Attic Insulation: Including loose-fill, spray on, and block insulation.
- Roof or Floor Felt: An asbestos textile common in roofs and kitchen flooring.
- Basement Piping: Including basement boilers, hot water pipes, and asbestos cement.
- Vinyl Flooring: Asbestos was often added to vinyl flooring for resilience/fire resistance.
- Popcorn Ceilings or Ceiling Tiles: For both a texturing agent and sound dampening.
- Asbestos in the Walls: Including drywall and asbestos cement sheeting.
Learn more about the location of asbestos in our breakdown, Asbestos in Your House: A Breakdown Floor by Floor.
What’s the Condition of the Asbestos?
The second question is what the state of the asbestos is. Asbestos can be installed in many different ways, and between the material, any deterioration, and the environment, the asbestos can start to become airborne. Asbestos generally comes in two states: friable asbestos and non-friable asbestos. Friable means the asbestos-containing material (ACM) is easily damaged, releasing harmful asbestos fibers into the air. Non-friable asbestos may be safe to leave in place.
If you’ve discovered asbestos during a home inspection, it needs to be inspected by a professional to see if it needs to be removed or encapsulated to keep the owners safe. Fiber Control, Inc. provides complete asbestos abatement services to Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Contact us today to talk about your situation.