The dangers of asbestos in fixer-upper purchases
There are plenty of considerations that need to be made prior to buying a fixer-upper. It requires a lot of background checking, maintenance work, and even renovations that could make the acquisition more costly in the long run.
But for some people, the rewards of taking an old property and restoring it to its old beauty and flair makes all the time, money, and effort worth the sacrifice and investment.
If you are really keen on acquiring a fixer-upper, you need to add one very important risk factor to your extensive list of considerations: the presence of asbestos in the property you are buying.
Here’s a short background on asbestos to help you shed some light on this dangerous health hazard.
From the mid-19th century up until 1999 when a total ban was imposed, asbestos had been commonly present in the industrialised world. It was widely used in residential property at the time, meaning over 50 percent of homes built before 1999 are highly likely to have asbestos-harbouring materials incorporated in them.
However, it is not the presence of asbestos you should immediately be concerned about; rather, it is its release into the air that makes it hazardous once inhaled. Some of the risks of asbestos exposure include various respiratory illnesses such as persistent coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, and even lung cancer (mesothelioma). Other health symptoms include chest pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fever – all of which could be symptoms of asbestosis or malignant mesothelioma.
Imagine the risks involved in renovating a property laden with asbestos. It could be released into the air, putting you as well as the workers around the property at serious health risk. Due to these serious health risks, it is important to first schedule the old property you have acquired for asbestos testing.
Everything from the property’s walls, floors, pipes, old furnaces, ceilings, and even the roof can have materials containing asbestos. But once again, asbestos fibres are only hazardous when they are airborne. That means you have the capability to prevent all sorts of asbestos-related disasters from happening as long as you sign the property up for testing first.
Asbestos remediation may be necessary if test results point to the presence of asbestos in the property. Also known as asbestos abatement, the process includes having the asbestos removed. Note that this is something that should be left to the professionals, so do not attempt to do it yourself. EVER. Regardless of how many do-it-yourself asbestos-removal guides you find online, there is no need for you to put yourself at risk. There are plenty of asbestos inspectors and contractors with the proper licenses and training in handling asbestos safely, so you shouldn’t have any difficulties getting assistance with projects of this type.
Acquiring a fixer-upper, even one that contains asbestos, can be a headache-free process as long as you enlist the help of the right people to help you get the property ready, whether it is for moving in, or for reselling.