Pre-purchase asbestos inspection isn’t something you would think of getting. Though asbestos is not one of the germiest places or even mould, this toxin can cause several serious health problems. In this case, property owners need to consider a pre-purchase asbestos inspection.
This post covers what asbestos is, why it’s dangerous, where it’s located, and how to remove it.
What Do You Need to Know About Pre-Purchase Asbestos Inspection?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be mined from the ground in any part of the world. Composed of thin, dense fibers, asbestos is a desirable material in the construction industry for its ability to resist heat, fire, and electricity.
From the 1920s to the 1990s, asbestos has been used in residential construction. If your home dates from this period, the material may still be in certain places.
If these tiny fibres of asbestos are disturbed, they become airborne and can be inhaled. Even minimal exposure can cause difficulty breathing, persistent wheezing, coughing, growths in the throat and lungs, mesothelioma, and eventually lung cancer. Those who suffer sick building syndrome may actually suffer from asbestos exposure.
According to cancer.gov, your chances of developing asbestos-related diseases vary. For example, it depends on the amount, the length, and the source of exposure.
The size, shapes, chemical makeup of the fibres are also factors. Other individual factors include whether you smoke and if you have a pre-existing lung disease.
Asbestos is hard to identify because it’s incorporated into other household substances like cement and vermiculite attic insulation.
Inside the home, it could be your old-fashioned popcorn ceilings, bathroom vinyl flooring tiles, and kitchen walls. Some older homeowners might be unaware asbestos could be lurking on the light fixtures, paint and plaster, caulking to seal gaps and cracks, and window glaze to keep the draft out of a home during the colder months.
In the past, people used attics and basements more for storage than living quarters. Older attics and basements often include exposed materials like insulation.
Large and outdated appliances in the basement like pellet burning stoves, water heaters, and furnaces should be updated immediately. For this reason, they need to call a pre-purchase asbestos inspection and undergo testing for asbestos before DIY removal.
Homeowners should be wary of concrete flooring and walls. These materials are hard to break; exposure can happen through the smallest gap or crack.
If you look outside of your home, there are old roofing shingles, siding, and other material on the exterior of the house linked to asbestos. However, these don’t necessarily mean danger.
Unless the house is struck by some natural disasters such as high winds or excessive rainstorms, you may not need to worry about the exterior as much. However, if you’re building after a typhoon, you need to consider it.
Effective Building & Consultancy recommends extreme caution whenever you plan on buying a fixer-upper home to renovate or when you’re doing maintenance work on an older home. The fibres can be released into the air during routine maintenance work, demolition, renovations, electrical wiring, and drilling.
While you may attempt to do asbestos removal yourself, we don’t advise it here. Asbestos is a tricky substance because of the dangerous properties it has. When fully intact, the dangers of exposure gradually decrease.
However, when friable materials become broken, these microscopic fibres can break and become airborne. If you breathe or ingest these chalky pieces, you could contract some serious diseases. These include asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma, cancer that manifests over time (20-50 years).
Due to these serious risks, you should never remove it from your home yourself. First, call a professional inspector to your home. When calling a local inspector, you need to make sure they handle the pre-purchase asbestos inspection, and some cases might require a specific abatement contractor.
A professional who does pre-purchase asbestos inspection can safely monitor the issue and follow proper protocol to see that none is exposed.
Final Thoughts on Facts You Need to Know About Pre-Purchase Asbestos Inspection
You now know the facts you need to know about asbestos. You now understand how risky it is to your health. However, if you contact an inspector to do a pre-purchase asbestos inspection to your property, you’ll prevent yourself from suffering the issues that it can bring to your life.