Your home is your haven and the place you feel most safe. Discovering that your home may contain a hazardous material that could put you or your loved ones at risk if they are ever exposed can be alarming.
Asbestos-containing materials don’t have to be a concern or hold you back from renovating your space into your dream home. Keep reading to learn about why you might need a residential asbestos inspection, where asbestos might be found in the home, and what is involved in the process of a residential asbestos inspection.
Do Regular Home Inspections Check for Asbestos?
Traditional home inspections visually assess a home’s condition, including ceilings, floors, windows, walls, and doors. The goal is to uncover and record any potential problems on the property. Home inspections are an integral part of the home selling and buying process.
No, traditional home inspections are not required to detect or look for asbestos in the home. If there is damage to the structure, exposing asbestos-containing material may be noted on the inspection, but they are not obligated to take a sample for testing.
With so many building materials containing asbestos, some still used today, there is a general rule regarding asbestos in the home. If the materials are intact and there is no risk of asbestos exposure, do not disturb these materials.
When Should I Have a Residential Asbestos Inspection?
It wasn’t until the 1970s that studies began showing the serious health effects associated with asbestos-containing materials. Health risks included lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and more. Exposure to asbestos in the home occurred when asbestos-containing materials were damaged or broken, releasing the fibers into the air.
Most houses built before the 1990s will contain asbestos-containing materials throughout the structure. Even new construction can potentially contain the few asbestos-containing products still on the market. Since it’s best to leave intact materials undisturbed, the only time you would need an asbestos inspection would be when your house is damaged and in need of repair, if you would like to demolish the structure or do any renovations.
If you’re concerned about asbestos in the home and the potential of exposure to this hazardous material in the event of damage, you can elect to have an inspection for your peace of mind. Our experts will provide options for removal if your home does contain asbestos.
Where Can Asbestos Potentially Be Found in the Home?
After the effects of asbestos were known, companies began developing substitutes for asbestos and removed their asbestos-containing materials from the market. Regulations were developed banning asbestos in certain materials, and asbestos mining efforts were abandoned. However, in certain cases, a reasonable substitute could not be found, so a few asbestos-containing products are still being manufactured.
There are a few areas in the home where asbestos may potentially be found. Here are some places that may be checked for asbestos-containing materials:
- Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation.
- Walls and floors surrounding wood-burning stoves containing cement sheets, millboard, and asbestos paper.
- Walls or ceiling with patching compound or textured paint.
- Siding and roofing shingles
- Wall and attic insulation
- Steam and hot water pipes covered with an asbestos blanket or tape or coated with asbestos material.
- The backing on vinyl sheet flooring and vinyl floor tiles and adhesives.
Due to the sheer volume of asbestos-containing materials in the home, it is integral to have the home inspected before doing any work. Knowing where asbestos is in the home will protect you, your loved ones, contractors, and workers entering or working on the home.
What is the Residential Asbestos Inspection Process?
The inspection takes anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the size of the building. Our asbestos inspection expert will keep you informed throughout the process and provide you with an estimated timeframe for the inspection results.
The process involves a thorough and detailed visual overview of the entire property, extensive sample taking of any suspected asbestos-containing materials, certified laboratory analysis, and a complete report with professional recommendations for asbestos abatement.
Samples are sent off to a certified lab for analysis. Testing takes 7 to 10 days before results are provided to our experts. Once those results are received, a report can be created based on the analysis. Our experts will walk you through the report, answer any questions and provide the next steps if abatement is needed.