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Asbestos Lead Mold

Avoid These 3 Hidden DIY Renovation Mistakes

Avoid These 3 Hidden DIY Renovation Mistakes

Longer days and extra daylight make summer an ideal time to tackle home improvement projects. Don’t allow the lazy, hazy days of summer blind you to the potential environmental hazards that turn up during do-it-yourself renovations. Whether you are painting the house, updating a kitchen, or redecorating the kids’ rooms while they are away at camp, take heed.

Here’s our “Watch Out” list with renovation tips:

1. Watch Out for Lead When Sanding or Disrupting Painted Surfaces

If you live in a home built prior to 1978, paint containing lead can be anywhere. Before starting any renovation project – big or small – test for lead paint. It can be extremely dangerous. Even a speck of dust from lead paint can cause lead poisoning, which leads to neurological issues, brain damage, and other serious, irreversible health consequences.

Whether you are remodeling your kitchen, sanding and staining the deck, or doing something as small as hanging pictures on a wall that contains lead paint, proper EPA Lead Safe work practices, outlined in the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (RRP), should be followed. Although following RRP work practices is not required for DIYers, it is the best way to safeguard your health and the health of those around you. For more information on Lead Safe work practices for DIYers, click here.

2. Watch Out That You Don’t Release Asbestos Fibers Into the Air

Before any renovation or demolition, you need to know if you are about to disturb any materials containing asbestos. Even though it is a naturally occurring mineral fiber, asbestos is banned in certain forms because of its toxicity. Once used for everything from insulation and decoration to fireproofing, asbestos now is restricted to certain products, but is still used.

Therefore, you can be exposed to asbestos fibers through demolition of walls and ceilings, tile, flooring materials, roof shingles, pipes, and many other items throughout your home. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious and fatal illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Experts state that even a few hours’ exposure to the toxic fibers can be enough to trigger illness from 15–40 years down the road.

Be smart – have an asbestos survey performed prior to your renovation project. An asbestos survey will determine if there are any materials containing this toxic substance that you are about to disturb. Something as simple as installing a ceiling fan, removing a boiler, or updating your bathroom could have serious implications.

3. Watch Out for Mold

When conquering DIY projects, be mindful of mold hidden under sinks, behind walls, or anywhere that has cellulose material, warmth, and moisture. Mold can cause health problems.

Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and founder of RTK Environmental Group, knows how prevalent mold can be. “Too often, we are called in to test for mold after a DIY project has gone wrong, or after someone tried to remediate mold on their own,” he says. “One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is ripping out wallboard, ceilings, and other building materials that are wet without mold testing or proper containment,” says Weitz, who saw this mistake repeatedly after Hurricane Sandy. “When extreme situations occur, like a hurricane, basement flooding, or a roof leak, people panic and start ripping things out with the intention of making the problem go away faster,” Weitz explains. “In doing this, they spread the mold spores throughout the home and ventilation system. Next thing they know, they have a full-blown mold infestation.”

So what should you do? First, if you know there has been water damage or a leak in the area, have it tested for mold. If mold is found, you can choose to have it professionally removed by a remediation company, or you can do-it-yourself following strict EPA mold remediation guidelines. DIY mold removal requires specialized equipment, air filtration, negative air pressure, protective personal wear, and more. Angie’s List  shares information on the possible hazards of DIY mold removal.

For more information on environmental testing and tips to keep you healthy and safe, contact us.

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Asbestos Flooding & Water Damage Health Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Lead Mold Mold Testing Soil and Water Weitz Advice

Storm Cleanup: After a Storm, Don’t let Mold or Toxins Take up Residence in Your Home

Storm Cleanup: After a Storm, Don’t let Mold or Toxins Take up Residence in Your Home

As massive cleanup efforts and power restoration continue throughout the region after a lightning-fast-moving storm, homeowners should be aware of the potential that flooding and water damage are causing.

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Asbestos

What You Need to Know about Renovation Work and Asbestos

What You Need to Know about Renovation Work and Asbestos

Do-it-yourself renovations have become commonplace. Unfortunately, many DIYers are unaware of the danger that lurks if asbestos is present and disturbed. Asbestos has been used in the construction of walls, ceilings and floors (mostly for fireproofing), and often serves as insulation for pipes.

test-before -you-renovate-asbestos

If asbestos is left undisturbed, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that it is generally safe. But when it is disturbed during renovation or if it is crumbling from age, dangerous particles are released into the air, breathed in, and can settle into your respiratory system. Exposure to this dangerous material can cause serious respiratory diseases and cancer, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.

Because of these health risks, federal and state agencies have developed very strict rules for asbestos removal. Construction workers must receive specialized training to learn safe asbestos removal techniques. If they find deteriorating asbestos that needs to be removed, then you’ll need to hire a reputable contractor who has the appropriate qualifications and licensing for asbestos removal.  So your first step, when considering renovation work, should be to hire an independent testing company to test for asbestos.

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Asbestos Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Inspector's Notebook Lead Mold

Safe Home Renovations

Safe Home Renovations

With everyone stuck at home under coronavirus quarantine, many of us are using this opportunity to complete home improvement projects. Whether you are renovating or simply painting, there are precautions you should take to preserve your health. Make sure you don’t disturb any toxic materials, like lead or asbestos, especially if you live in a house built before 1978.

Ask yourself these questions before you begin:

  • What type of surfaces and materials will you disturb?
  • Do you have crumbling pipe insulation or tiles? They may contain asbestos.
  • Will you disrupt any pipes? They might leach lead into your water.
  • Are there painted surfaces that are chipped? The paint may contain lead.

If any or all of the above apply, you’ll want to take some precautions. Otherwise, you may be subjecting yourself and your family to unnecessary health risks, caused by the very particles you’ve disturbed. Now, more than ever, it’s important to take the proper precautions. Here’s how:

Tip #1: Test for Lead Paint.

If your home was built prior to 1978, you probably have lead paint somewhere. (Paint containing lead was banned in 1978.) When paint containing lead is kept in good condition, it does not pose a significant health risk. But, if it is disturbed, it releases dangerous lead dust into the air, and when that dust settles onto flat surfaces is the leading cause of lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is known to cause autism, ADHD, brain damage, lower IQ, and a host of other physical and mental issues.

So, before you start your painting project, have a certified lead risk assessor test your home for lead paint. They can use an XRF spectrometer to look deep into layers of paint on walls to determine if there is lead paint not only on the surface, but also underneath in underlying layers.

If you are not comfortable with having a lead inspector come to your home while you are in quarantine, you may want to wait on that project, or treat it as if there were lead paint on your walls or trim. Follow the EPA’s recommended Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule for DIYers, which can be found here.

If, instead, you move ahead and disturb surfaces that contain lead paint, chances are you will have released toxins in the process. The clean-up can be very expensive. Worst of all, you may have subjected yourself and your family to a serious health hazard.

If you think you may have lead paint, call in an environmental testing company to have your home tested. If the test reveals toxic lead dust, a lead inspector can tell you the exact locations of the lead. Be sure you follow lead-safe work practices, or hire a contractor certified in lead-safe work practices.

Tip #2: Check for Asbestos.

asbestos testBefore any renovation or demolition, you need to know if you are about to disturb any materials containing asbestos. Asbestos is banned in many forms because of its toxicity. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious, even fatal illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Asbestos is common in older homes, and you can be exposed to asbestos fibers through demolition of many items, most commonly:

  • Flooring materials
  • Roof shingles
  • Pipes
  • Insulation
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Tile

Be smart. Have an asbestos survey performed prior to your renovation project. The survey will determine if there are any materials containing this toxic substance that you are about to disturb. Something as simple as installing a ceiling fan or updating your bathroom could have serious implications. If you are unsure and are not ready for testing, hold off on the project.

Tip #3: Take Proper Precautions.

If a test confirms that environmental hazards are present, take appropriate steps to keep yourself and your family safe. Follow these precautions:

  1. Evacuate vulnerable family members.

While you are working, be sure children, the elderly, pregnant women, and pets leave the area while work is being performed. They can return after the work has stopped and the area has been thoroughly cleaned.

  1. Contain the offending area.

Close doors leading to the work area. Then use 4-6 mil plastic sheeting and painter’s tape to seal off the work area. Seal all ductwork, doors leading out, and windows with the sheeting. Your goal is to prevent toxins from contaminating the rest of the house.

  1. Dress for the occasion.

Look for a mask or respirator with an N95 rating or higher (if you can find one), which filters out very fine particles. And be sure you wear it for the entire time you are working and cleaning. Also, use a Tyvek suit to protect your clothes. If the work takes more than a day, use a new one for each day. Be sure to cover your feet with booties, which also should never leave the contained area. Once you remove the Tyvek suit and the booties, head to your washing machine, strip, and wash your clothes. If you can’t find a Tyvek suit, be sure to remove your clothes in the containment area, place them in a sealed plastic bag, and put them in the washing machine straight away. Then shower immediately.

  1. Avoid sanding.

Lead dust accounts for most of the pediatric lead-poisoning cases a year. Sanding releases fine lead dust particles, which fly through the air, infiltrating the entire house. Unfortunately, these particles remain in the home for a long time. Therefore, sand as little as possible and when you do wet the surface first to keep dust down.

  1. Clean up thoroughly.

Use a HEPA vacuum to clean the entire work area. Then use warm water and clean rags to wash all surfaces. Then HEPA vacuum again. Every exposed surface must be cleaned well. It’s a good idea to have your home tested post-renovation to ensure all toxic materials were properly removed.

This extra time at home is a gift, so make sure your home is safe for you and your family.

If you want to schedule a lead, asbestos, or mold inspection, call us at 800.392.6468 or click here.

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Asbestos Dust Lead

Are Toxins Hiding In Your Dust? Find Out With a Dust Characterization

Are Toxins Hiding In Your Dust? Find Out With a Dust Characterization

lead dustNearby new construction can certainly be a nuisance, what with all the noise and disruption. But there is a much larger issue that should concern you: the dust.

Dust from construction can be downright toxic. It can easily seep into your apartment, workplace or home, polluting your indoor air and covering your belongings. A simple test can tell you what’s contained in that dust and whether it can cause health damage.

In New York City alone, where the construction sector added 45,300 new jobs between 2010 and 2018, an increase of 40 percent, and construction spending set a record of $61.5 billion in 2018, there’s plenty of dust to go around.

Is dust really an issue?

asbestos dustConstruction dust often contains a host of contaminants, including lead and asbestos. Older buildings are very likely to contain these dangerous materials, which, when they are disturbed, become part of the stream of ordinary dust.

Dust generally falls into three categories: workplace, industrial, and home. With the rise of construction in New York City, it is most certainly an issue to be aware of. According to the Hayward Score, which identifies major issues in your home that can impact your health, your dust often contains a complex combination of particulates, dander, pollen, fibers, heavy metals, chemicals, mold spores, and more.

Dangerous lead and asbestos are often found in dust in cities, especially when there is nearby construction. Gabriel Filippelli, a professor of earth sciences and director of the Center for Urban Health at Indiana University-Purdue University, furthers states in the Washington Post that lead-contaminated soils, and dust generated from them, are tightly linked to the lead poisoning of children.

These substances can also cause:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Neurological issues
  • Reproductive problems
  • Impairing a child’s development
  • Cognitive damage
  • Other health issues

dust characterization testA dust characterization can help you to identify these and other unknown particles, including cellulose fibers, dander and dust mites, biologicals, minerals, fungal allergens, synthetics, and MMVF (manmade vitreous fibers). RTK’s dust characterizations, performed by licensed environmental inspectors, can usually determine—or rule out— whatever mysterious matter is plaguing your home or workplace.

 

When should I have a dust characterization?

dust transferIf you live or work in a construction area, or if your neighbor is doing renovation work or remodeling and you notice an increased amount of dust on your premises, you should definitely consider a dust characterization. You may be at risk, as you don’t know what substances are being carried through the air. Other reasons to have a dust test are:

  • If you have small children who crawl on the floor, they are more likely to ingest dust from hand to mouth contact;
  • If you are experiencing unexplained health symptoms;
  • If you work outdoors or live in a city.

If you are concerned about dust in your home or apartment, call us at (800) 392.6468 to discuss your situation. We’ll tailor our test to your specific needs and environment.

Protect your health!

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Asbestos Healthy Home

Asbestos – What You Need To Know

Asbestos – What You Need To Know

The presence of asbestos in any home or premises can become a serious matter that requires professional attention. Our goal is to assist you in understanding and correcting any asbestos issue – from start to finish. No job is too big or too small when the health of your family or employees is at stake.

RTK expertly locates any asbestos in your home or workplace. Once the material is completely removed, we’ll verify that your home or workplace is no longer contaminated.

RTK’s asbestos inspectors, project designers, and management planners are licensed by the Department of Public Health in New York and Connecticut and are certified under the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act.

Note: We do not offer asbestos abatement. Our sole focus is on providing an accurate, unbiased assessment of the presence of asbestos on your premises, and any potential health risks.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a heat-resistant fibrous mineral that has been used in the manufacturing of thousands of building materials including home insulation, pipe insulation, floor and ceiling tiles, adhesives, roof shingles, siding, textured ceilings and joint compounds. Over time, these materials can degrade or be disturbed during renovation work, and the asbestos fibers are released into the air. When inhaled, asbestos causes dangerous illnesses, particularly lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis and other serious respiratory ailments.

Therefore, it is important that asbestos be monitored by certified professionals who can help homeowners and commercial property owners identify potential risks. This is especially important prior to doing renovation work or purchasing property.

What does asbestos look like?

what does asbestos look likeMostly commonly, asbestos looks like white fuzz, but it can also appear in different shapes and colors such as brown, gray, or dull green. Chrysotile, the most common type of asbestos, is long, white, and curly. Another common type, amphibole, is brittle and has a rod or needle shape. Studies have shown that amphibole fibers are more likely than chrysotile asbestos to increase the risk of mesothelioma, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

Where is asbestos found?

Asbestos is found in many locations, both inside and outside the home or commercial property. These include:
  • Backing of vinyl sheet floor covering
  • Carpet padding
  • Popcorn ceiling tiles
  • Pipe insulation
  • Attic and ceiling insulation
  • Electric and wall insulation
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles
  • Drop ceiling tiles
  • Fireplace flues
  • Drywall
  • Adhesives
  • Roof shingles
  • Sealants
  • Cement

Are tiles made of asbestos dangerous?

asbestos tileUnlike many asbestos-containing materials, vinyl asbestos flooring is generally safe to be around – provided it is not damaged or chipped in any way. But once the decision is made to remove the tile or disturb it in any way, it becomes a hazard. Any time you disturb asbestos tile, it can release toxic fibers into the air. There are many contractors and laborers suffering from diseases today such as lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma because of a lack of awareness of the dangers of asbestos in the past.

 

I’m house hunting and looking at older homes. Should I be concerned about asbestos?

All homes can contain asbestos – even newer ones. It is especially important to test older homes, however, as asbestos was more commonly used in the past. RTK’s certified professionals can help homeowners and commercial property owners identify potential risks prior to renovation, demolition, or purchase, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in asbestos abatement and costly cleanup after the fact.

 

Who is at risk for asbestos exposure?

asbestos lung diseaseAlmost everyone has been exposed to asbestos at one time because asbestos has been used in products for many years. But not everyone who has been exposed will become ill. People with higher levels of exposure are more vulnerable to illness: those who have worked with asbestos materials or spent a long time surrounded by them. This includes those with jobs in mining, construction, sheet metal manufacture, and automotive repair (mechanics that deal with brake and clutch repairs); as well as insulation workers, those who manufacture products containing asbestos, and who do renovation work at marinas and boat yards. You also need to be careful if you live near an asbestos waste disposal site, as the materials may not be properly contained or stored.

 

What are the symptoms of asbestos exposure?

Symptoms of asbestos exposure are very difficult to detect because most asbestos-related diseases don’t arise until years after exposure. But once you have an asbestos-related illness, symptoms will include shortness of breath; swollen fingertips and toes that appear rounder and wider than normal; a persistent, dry cough; wheezing; loss of appetite with weight loss; and chest tightness or pain.

 

Can you get rid of asbestos in your lungs?

Unfortunately, you cannot. No known method exists to remove asbestos fibers from the lungs once they are inhaled, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The Agency does say, however, that some types of asbestos are cleared naturally by the lungs or break down in the lungs.

 

How prevalent is asbestos-related death in the United States?

According to the Environmental Working Group, currently 12,000 to 15,000 people die every year in the USA from asbestos-related diseases. This number continues to rise. The total number of asbestos-related deaths in the United States may exceed 200,000 by the year 2030, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

 

Is asbestos always dangerous?

Left undisturbed, asbestos is generally safe. If it is exposed or damaged, it can be very harmful.

 

When should I test for asbestos?

asbestos inspectionIf you suspect that your home or workplace contains asbestos, call in trained professionals to examine the materials. They will do so without the risk of releasing fibers into the air. Test for asbestos in these situations:

  • If you are buying, selling or renting a condominium, co-op or home built before 1980
  • Before you or your contractor do any renovation work on property built before 1980
  • Before you or your contractor do any demolition work on property built before 1980

 

Can I remove asbestos myself?

Legally, yes. But that’s playing with fire. The EPA advises against any sort of DIY asbestos project, whether it’s obtaining a sample or removal. Once asbestos fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled, and then lodge in your lungs. The EPA recommends calling in professionals who are trained, licensed, and certified in asbestos handling and removal, and observe proper safety procedures. The EPA states this is the best way to protect yourself and your family.

 

How do I know if I have asbestos in my house?

asbestos sampleYou can’t tell if a product or building material contains asbestos by just looking at it. You will need to have a certified testing company take a sample to be analyzed. As asbestos is commonly found in building materials, insulation, and cement products, if you are working or moving products or materials in these categories, then it is best to have a professional do asbestos testing first.

 

What should I do if I find asbestos in my house?

How you deal with it will depend on the type of asbestos found and the condition it is in. If the asbestos material is in good condition, free from cracks or dust, and there is no danger of the fibers becoming airborne, then it is generally safe to leave it alone. If the material is damaged or deteriorating, or if you are going to disturb the material, it will need to be removed by a professional asbestos abatement contractor.

 

Asbestos abatement – when should asbestos be removed?

asbestos removalIf you are planning to renovate areas that contain asbestos, you need to have the asbestos removed prior to any demolition, sanding, cutting, or any other disturbance to prevent asbestos fibers from being released into the air.

 

Is asbestos illegal or banned in the USA?

Shockingly, no. Asbestos is still not completely banned in the USA. In 1973, the EPA’s Clean Air Act banned most spray-applied asbestos products for insulating and fireproofing purposes. In 1989, the EPA implemented the Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule, which was supposed to ban asbestos completely. Unfortunately in 1991, the ban was overturned after intensive lobbying by the asbestos industry. Products today can be made with asbestos as long as asbestos accounts for less than one percent of the product’s makeup. Products that currently include asbestos are: automobile clutches, brake pads, vinyl tile, roofing materials, cement piping, home insulation, corrugated sheeting, and even some potting soils.

 

Do you need to be licensed to handle asbestos?

In most states, asbestos licensure is mandatory. Both the companies and individuals doing the abatement need to be licensed by the state, and sometimes, local authorities. You need separate licenses to test for asbestos and to remove asbestos and usually cannot do both on the same project.

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Asbestos

Top Questions on Asbestos Answered

Top Questions on Asbestos Answered

Many homeowners are concerned by the idea that their home could contain asbestos. Asbestos is a hazardous substance that can reside in building materials and has been linked to many health complications. Most often, people want to know where asbestos is found, and the potential risks of having asbestos in the home, in order to avoid the possibility of them or a loved one becoming ill. Here’s what you need to know about asbestos if you are a home buyer, seller, or remodeler.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that is mined from the earth. It has natural properties that make it an outstanding and low-cost fire retardant. It was added to many building products between the 1940s through the 1980s. The EPA outlawed asbestos in 1989, but the 5th circuit court of appeals overturned that ruling in 1991. While less common than it once was, the use of asbestos is still technically legal in the United States.

What Makes Asbestos so bad?

what does asbestos look likeWhen the tiny coarse fibers of asbestos are inhaled into the lungs they can cause damage to the lung tissue. Over time, asbestos inhalation can lead to asbestosis (a lung disease), cancer, and mesothelioma – an aggressive form of cancer that affects the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Construction workers and manufacturers are among those most affected, as they have historically worked in close proximity to asbestos-containing materials. According to the Department of Labor, there is no safe level of asbestos.

It’s important to understand a few basic concepts about asbestos-containing materials in your home. If the building material in question is not damaged or “friable,” then the asbestos fibers will not likely be able to become air-borne particulate. The asbestos will be encapsulated in the building material and will not likely create a health hazard. For this reason, most old homes may not pose an asbestos-related health hazard to the occupants living there. If the asbestos fibers are not likely to become airborne, then the area is likely considered safe.

Where is Asbestos Found?

Some common building materials that contain asbestos include, but are not limited to:

  • asbestos removalInsulation
  • Shingles
  • Cement siding
  • 9”x9” floor tiles
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles
  • White tape on heating ducts
  • Insulation on boiler pipes and boilers
  • Popcorn ceiling
  • Glues used under flooring

Vermiculite insulation has been deemed one of the more dangerous types of materials. This loose insulation, which is often found in your attic, looks like small rocks or bits of mica. Much of this insulation came from a mine in Libby Montana and the vermiculite was contaminated with asbestos. Vermiculite can aerosolize easily, exposing occupants or workers to its unsafe effects. In addition, tests to verify the presence of asbestos in vermiculite have proven unreliable. It is best to assume this product contains asbestos and consider having it remediated by a professional to reduce risks of exposure.

How do I Know if I Have Asbestos in My Home?

asbestos sampleIf you are buying a house older than 1980 (and in some cases even newer), you can assume it probably contains at least some asbestos. If you are planning on remodeling or making renovations to your home it would be a good idea to test for asbestos. You may want to perform an inspection to look for damaged materials which may contain asbestos and have these remediated or encapsulated – especially if you have some reasons for concern like visibly damaged pipe insulation or old building materials.

If you are remodeling an old house, the risk of exposure is much greater. Prior to construction, you should have a full evaluation done by a professional. You can hire an industrial hygienist or an environmental testing company to perform an evaluation of the house. These contractors follow a comprehensive testing protocol and will often take more than a dozen samples from the building. Once you have the results you should know what materials in your home contain asbestos as well as how to safely remove them from your home.

Is Asbestos Identification Included in a Home Inspection?

asbestos inspectionHome inspectors are not able to identify the presence of asbestos in your home due to the fact that the inspection is often visual and non-invasive. Many home inspectors will report the presence of building materials that are likely to contain asbestos. If your inspector reports the possibility of asbestos in your home building materials it may be wise to have a comprehensive asbestos identification inspection done.

A complete asbestos evaluation often involves destructive testing where samples are drilled, scraped or pried from the building. If you were to get this evaluation done before purchasing the home, you would need to get permission from the homeowners, which is not always approved. Home inspectors are prohibited from damaging the buildings they are inspecting, making it particularly difficult to inspect for asbestos-containing materials in a comprehensive way as a part of a pre-purchase home inspection. This is another reason why asbestos evaluation is generally not completed as part of the pre-purchase due diligence.

Does a Home Seller have to Disclose Asbestos?

asbestos abatementMost states don’t require that single-family homeowners test for asbestos prior to selling their home. However, if you knowingly sell a home with asbestos without revealing that information to the buyer, you could be held liable for health-related damages in the future. It is best to check your local regulations as these laws vary by state.

Is it Legal to Remodel a Home with Asbestos?

The biggest risk posed by asbestos is during a remodel or renovation to an old house. When the building materials that contain asbestos get damaged and are made airborne, the people working on the home, and living in it, become susceptible to exposure.

Laws regarding asbestos will vary by state but many states will require:

  • Homeowners to test for asbestos prior to any construction or renovation project
  • Asbestos remediation to be done by licensed abatement contractors prior to starting demolition work
  • Contractors to obtain a written asbestos report from a building owner prior to work
  • Asbestos-containing materials be disposed of in special containers for hazardous waste

asbestos warningIf you are planning to renovate your home, consider testing for lead and asbestos. If you have time to do this evaluation before buying the house, that is great. In hot markets, home buyers often have very limited time to complete their inspections so many buyers proceed with the logical assumption that the building contains asbestos and they will need to tackle it prior to renovation.

Many homes built in the 20th century contain some level of asbestos. If you discover asbestos in your home don’t panic, it is normally safe to live in if you are not planning renovations. If you are planning on making changes to your home, you will need to check your local laws and hire the right professionals to assess the home and dispose of the waste correctly. Knowing the facts about asbestos is very important and can help keep you and your loved ones out of harm’s way.

 

Author bio: Jennifer Karami is a writer at Redfin, a technology-enabled real estate brokerage whose mission is to redefine real estate in the customer’s favor.

Categories
Asbestos Health Indoor Air Quality & Radon

Checking in on Occupational Lung Health

Checking in on Occupational Lung Health

When we think of occupational hazards that leave workers sidelined, what often comes to mind are accidents that happen on the job, such as falls and injuries. But there’s something else that impacts workers’ health, and their lungs specifically, with respect to occupational hazards: the air we breathe.

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Asbestos Health Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Lead Mold

Homeowners Guide to Environmental Hazards

Homeowners Guide to Environmental Hazards

We go to the gym, eat healthy and organic foods, and do everything we can to lead a healthy lifestyle. Or do we? Are we paying attention to possible environmental hazards in our homes?

If more than 80% of all homes contain at least one environmental hazard, the chances are great that we will be exposed to several toxins such as lead, mold, radon, asbestos, and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which are toxic fumes off-gassed from manmade materials.

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Asbestos Healthy Home Lead Mold

Before You Buy An Older Home

Before You Buy An Older Home

Older Homes Have Character, But Can be Full of Hazards

If you’ve ever seen an episode of “This Old House” or binge-watched HGTV on demand, you probably have your eye on an older home. After all, they’re often charming, well constructed, architecturally intriguing — and not hard to find.