Do you need a home inspection for asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made of thin fiber-like material. During and prior to the 1980s, many homes were built with materials containing asbestos. It is a heat-resistant mineral, found in insulation, roof shingles, drywall, and other parts of the home. Unfortunately, asbestos is linked to cancer and lung disease, especially after prolonged exposure.

If you are planning to move into or renovate a home built during or before the 1980s, arranging a home inspection for asbestos prior to moving forward is most definitely in your best interest. Asbestos poses the greatest threat to human health when it is disrupted, especially in the case of DIY home renovations, so swinging that sledgehammer without knowing what’s behind your walls could prove to be a costly and dangerous mistake.

Although most home inspectors don’t actually test for the presence of asbestos, they’ll likely inform you if there is reason to believe asbestos is present and will refer you to a professional asbestos abatement company. If your inspector believes there’s asbestos in your home, don’t worry. Asbestos is actually a relatively common issue for many homeowners and does not always mean you will experience adverse health effects living in its presence. It’s when that asbestos is disrupted – such as during a home remodel – that it becomes a cause for concern.

If asbestos is found in your home, you should hire a professional to remove it. It’s also important to seal off any area in which asbestos was damaged or disrupted to keep people and pets away and stop potential airborne spreads. Asbestos is odorless and disburses in a fine dust, so you won’t know if you’re exposed. Proper removal or sealing is critical to protect yourself and others from developing serious health problems. Generally speaking, when dealing with an old property, it’s best to err on the side of caution and schedule a home inspection for asbestos.

Should I have an asbestos testing home inspection for a real estate transaction?

Arranging an asbestos testing home inspection for a real estate transaction can be a bit tricky. Sellers are generally not required to perform asbestos testing because they are not included with normal home inspections. If you are concerned that a property you’re considering purchasing may have asbestos present, you can request the sellers to perform an inspection.

Unfortunately, sellers reserve the right to decline to perform an inspection as a thorough asbestos inspection may cause damage to the home (because samples must be taken and evaluated in a lab). Not to mention, if asbestos is discovered, it could have negative impacts on the property’s value and/or sale price. Generally, the seller does not have a lot of motivation to approve a test, but it’s worth pursuing if you suspect the home contains asbestos.

Sellers are not required by law to permit destructive asbestos testing. An alternative to destructive testing could include an asbestos expert walk-through inspection without removing any of the home’s materials. Though a walkthrough test can be helpful, it is impossible to determine if asbestos is present for sure without laboratory testing of samples.

It is in the buyer’s best interest to take steps to determine if the property they are looking at contains asbestos prior to purchasing it. If the seller declines to perform destructive testing, try to negotiate and find ways to discover asbestos without causing property damage. This can include a walk-through inspection that was mentioned earlier or completing asbestos dust testings in concerning places of the home.

How much will an asbestos home inspection cost?

If you suspect your home – or a home you plan to purchase – contains asbestos, hiring a professional to inspect the property is critical. How much does an asbestos home inspection cost? The answer is, it depends. There are many facets to a comprehensive asbestos test, including air quality tests and sample testing. Asbestos inspectors are highly-trained and qualified to perform comprehensive inspections to help homeowners determine the presence of asbestos, which is step one.

On average, a basic asbestos inspection will cost between $500-$1,000, but that number varies based on several factors, including the number of areas being tested, square footage of the home, etc. The inspection is especially important if you have inadvertently disturbed the material you believe contains asbestos. It’s important to hire a contractor that is certified and trained to comply with city and state requirements, so it’s more important to find a qualified inspector than it is to shop price.

Detecting and removing asbestos is serious business. That’s why you need an experienced, professional company to walk you through the entire process, from testing to abatement. A qualified inspector can determine whether there is asbestos present and if it requires removal. Contact Rarefied Air Environmental today for a quote. Our team is standing by to answer your questions and assist you in making your home safe and free from harmful asbestos.