Does the sound of the word "asbestos" send chills down your spine? You're not alone. This icky stuff was banned in 1989 for being a severe health hazard.
Since asbestos has been banned for decades, do home inspections check for asbestos? Inquiring minds want to know.
Learn more about this much-talked-about material and if asbestos inspections are required for new homes.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a natural-occurring silicate mineral. Due to its fibrous texture, it can be woven into a fabric-like material. Since it was so durable and malleable, it's no surprise it was an insulation alternative.
Asbestos originated from the mines of South Africa. There are actually six different types of asbestos minerals. The most commonly used asbestos mineral is Chrysotile.
Chrysotile is known as white asbestos. It was commonly used in roofing, interior walls, flooring, and ceiling insulation. It was also used for car parts, like brake linings and gaskets.
Before the ban, asbestos was a popular building material, found in homes, businesses, and classrooms around the country. It was commonly used as insulation and fire-resistant material. Little did people know, this seemingly harmless material was causing devastating respiratory diseases and other health issues.
Asbestos-related conditions became known as asbestosis. In some cases, asbestosis can lead to heart failure. Mesothelioma is the most well-known asbestosis condition.
While this harmful material is banned, people who live and work around old asbestos are still at risk of developing health issues.
Do Home Inspections Check for Asbestos?
You may know what asbestos is and understand the risks, but are inspectors required to check for it during a routine inspection?
The truth behind asbestos is well-known. Plus, there are still old buildings with asbestos because it was so widespread. Of course, inspectors would check for asbestos, right?
Believe it or not, inspectors don't check for asbestos during new home inspections.
Inspectors can't take apart your home during an inspection. The only way to know if asbestos is lurking in your home is to take a sample. At best, an inspector can identify which areas could have asbestos.
What you need is an asbestos test. Ask if your inspector is certified in asbestos testing, so they can take samples of the walls. Otherwise, you'll need to call an asbestos abatement company.
Asbestos abatement companies test your entire home before undergoing a rigorous removal process. Your expert may also recommend tips for removing asbestos during particular seasons.
Know the Signs of Asbestos
Every homeowner should know the signs of asbestos, especially if your home was built before the 1989 ban.
Physical symptoms include wheezing, chest pain, and a crackling sound when you breathe. Fluid and plaque can also accumulate around your lungs. These signs are often confused for common cold symptoms, but don't be fooled!
See a doctor right away if you suspect any health issues from asbestos.
Get Rid of Asbestos for Good
Do home inspections check for asbestos at all? the short answer is no. A home inspector can't take any samples, but other services can help.
Seek medical treatment if you suspect asbestos poisoning, and book an appointment with an asbestos abatement service for quick removal.
Don't put your health at risk for an unsafe home. Check out the blog for updates on the latest health and safety tips for homeowners.