Frequently Asked Questions About Asbestos Inspections

If you are buying an older home, warehouse or building, it may be recommended that you have an asbestos inspection done. If you have never had one of these done, you may have many questions about it. Here are a few of the questions you may have about an asbestos inspection:

What Exactly is an Asbestos Inspection? 

Asbestos is a material that was added to many home improvement materials to make them stronger and more durable. Unfortunately, this product also made people sick when the fibers went airborne. While asbestos products are currently banned from being sold, there are no laws or rules that state they have to be removed from a home. Typically, these products are not removed until they begin to fail or until home renovations are done. As such, these products may remain in homes or businesses. During an asbestos inspection, an inspector who is familiar with these products will walk around the home or business looking for materials that may contain asbestos based on its age and appearance. This can include anything from roofing or siding materials, old home insulation, textured paint, vinyl floor tiles and adhesives, blankets or taps on steam pipes and coal furnace insulation. If they suspect that there is asbestos, they may recommend that you have asbestos testing done before buying or renovating the property. 

How is it Determined if there is Asbestos in the Home or Building? 

There is no way to look at something and determine whether or not it contains asbestos. While an investigator may be fairly certain that something does, based on its age and similar products they have encountered in the past, the only way to know for sure is to have it tested. A small strip of the product is cut and removed and then sent to be examined under a microscope. Microscopic examination will determine if there are asbestos fibers in the material being tested or not. This is the only way to positively identify asbestos in any home materials. 

Why is Having an Asbestos Inspection Beneficial Before Buying?

If a home or building has asbestos, the asbestos will need to be removed by a remediation team when it starts to peel or flake or before you can complete renovations in the area. Hiring professionals to properly and safely remove asbestos can be costly. As such, you will want to know if the home or building you are looking to buy has asbestos so you can negotiate the price of the building down, ask for the asbestos to be removed before buying, or make an educated decision as to whether you want to buy it if the price is firm. 

Most asbestos products used in homes and commercial buildings were banned by 1989. As such, if the home or building was built after this date, the likelihood of it containing asbestos is low. If the home or building is older than this, it may contain asbestos and you may want to consider having an asbestos inspection done on it. 

Contact a company like Hutzel & Associates, Inc for more information and assistance.