How Do I Know If Asbestos Is In My Home?
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to determine if a material contains asbestos just by looking at it. The majority of asbestos can be found in items in homes built from the early 1900s up until the 1980s including, but not limited to ceiling texture, floor tiles, wall and attic insulation, and siding. Companies that specialize in remediation have seen enough asbestos that they can be confident that something contains asbestos.
Why Is Asbestos Bad?
Asbestos was a great material used in construction materials as it is a highly effective and inexpensive fire-retardant that thermal and acoustic insulator. There is no problem using materials with asbestos, however, it can become a problem if the asbestos fibers are released from the material (usually from them breaking apart) and become airborne and inhaled. Exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to a type of cancer that affects the lungs called mesothelioma.
Do You Have To Disclose Asbestos When Selling A House?
You must disclose that a house has asbestos if you are aware of it in the state of Texas. This will be added as part of your seller disclosure document. If asbestos is found in the house and it is discovered that someone knowingly did not disclose it, legal action could be brought against them.
Is It Safe To Live In A House With Asbestos?
People who live in an older home with materials that contain asbestos are likely not going to have any issues, but there are a few things to watch out for. If you have a ceiling that has asbestos material, water intrusion can cause issues. Water can cause the ceiling to sag and crumble which allows the asbestos fibers to be released. So if you have a ceiling that is severely deteriorating due to water, there is the possibility of a hazard. In most circumstances, however, it is primarily in situations of major disasters that enough asbestos fibers will be around to cause a problem – this is why FEMA warns people about re-entering a home after a flood.
Is It Safe To Remodel A House With Asbestos?
If you are doing a renovation or remodeling to an older home, you should use caution as you are purposefully disturbing the material. The asbestos fibers will not only be in the air for your to breathe during your work but can also get on your clothes where you could inhale them later. The chances of breathing enough asbestos fibers during a home renovation to cause cancer are low unless you are doing it on a regular basis, for example – someone who remodels houses for a living.
In most circumstances, the vast majority of cancer caused by asbestos is from people who worked with asbestos or who lived near asbestos mills or mines. In these cases, the people were regularly exposed to high levels of asbestos in the air on a daily basis.
Does Asbestos Affect Home Value?
The presence of material containing asbestos can be an issue when it comes to reselling a house. This is for three reasons: 1) You are limited in what you can do with asbestos-containing materials. 2) Some lenders will not issue a loan on the property if a home inspection finds it to be an issue. 3) Even if the asbestos is contained and safe to be around, there is a stigma associated with asbestos and its presence can deter home buyers that don’t want to take the chance with their health or the health of their family.
What Should I Do If I Think My House Has Asbestos?
If you think you have asbestos in your house that is not contained, you should test for asbestos. If the test comes back positive you should then hire a remediation company to remove any hazardous materials. After the company has made the area safe you should next replace anything that was removed during the remediation.
Test For Asbestos
Before you do anything, it’s a good idea to test your home for asbestos to make sure that you actually have a problem. You can order a testing kit online or you can hire a company that does asbestos testing to help with this.
Hire A Remediation Company To Remove Asbestos
If you discover you have asbestos-containing materials, it is best to hire professionals to deal with them. Unless you have experience handling asbestos, this is probably something you want to hire someone else to do. Doing this wrong could result in exposing yourself to additional asbestos particles.
You’ll need to replace tiles, siding, or whatever you removed to get rid of asbestos. Keep in mind you cannot just put it in a trash can. The EPA requires a specific process for disposing of asbestos.
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