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What You Need to Know About Asbestos Before Purchasing a Home

asbestos removalBuying a home is a huge decision. In order to feel fully safe and secure in your investment, you need to take certain steps to ensure that you’re purchasing a place that’s in good condition. While many buyers are on the lookout for obvious problems like dated kitchens, lead paint, and cracks in the foundation, too many folks forget all about having the home inspected for asbestos. Although in recent years we’ve discovered the dangers of using asbestos, homes that have been built prior to 1980 almost assuredly contain asbestos somewhere. This means that in order to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy, you need to assess your new home and address any asbestos issues, where necessary.

Seller Disclosures

When selling a home, sellers are required to disclose as much information about the property to the new buyer as possible. This allows the new homeowners to learn about any existing or potential issues with the home that the seller is already aware of. It should be noted, though, that under federal law, sellers aren’t required to disclose the presence of asbestos in the house. State laws regarding this type of disclosure can be tricky. On top of everything else, many sellers aren’t even aware that asbestos exists within their homes themselves!  It’s up to you as a buyer, then, to take responsibility for having your new home tested for the presence of asbestos.

Testing for Asbestos

Whether you’re thinking about making an offer on a home or have already purchased one, it’s very important that you have the property inspected for asbestos prior to moving in. Certain types of asbestos, when inhaled, can lead to cancer and other illnesses. Only a professional can tell you if you and your loved ones are at risk of health complications due to asbestos. Even if you believe that you are able to identify what asbestos looks like, you may not be able to determine whether or not its presence is actually harmful.

When looking for a professional asbestos inspector, be sure to look for a contractor with a great deal of experience in both asbestos detection and abatement. Make sure that the contractor has a reputation for being honest and reliable. Once inside your home, the inspector should be able to quickly identify any problem areas, and let you know about the extent of the asbestos present in your home, as well as the potential dangers associated with it.

In some cases, your inspector might determine that the asbestos is safe. Keep in mind that the asbestos will only remain safe so long as it is not damaged. When damaged, the harmful asbestos fibers can be released and inhaled, leading to health risks and diseases. You should continue to keep your eye on these areas to ensure that no damages occur. If you’re planning on doing some sort of remodel or renovation work to your newly acquired home, make sure that the work will not disrupt or damage the asbestos, or else you will need to have it abated quickly.

In other instances, the inspector may determine that the asbestos is already harmful to the health of those in your household and will let you know if the asbestos needs to be sealed off or removed entirely. If you’ve selected a great contractor who is able to assess the area for asbestos as well as handle the abatement process, you’ll be able to quickly get a fair quote so that you can move forward with the process of restoring your new home to safe living conditions.

Do you have reason to suspect that your newly acquired home could be housing asbestos? Would you like to have your existing home to be checked, just in case? Let the professionals at Abbotts Fire & Flood take a look today. Give us a call for a free estimate.

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