Where Will An Inspector Look For Asbestos?
If you bought or are thinking of buying an older home, it is important to have an asbestos inspector come look it over. Asbestos was widely used in building materials up until the past few decades, and it has since been found to cause all sorts of health issues, most notably a type of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. The inspector will do most of the work in searching for asbestos, but it is still nice to know where they will be looking primarily. Here are the places where asbestos is most likely to be found in an old home.
1. In the tile flooring
If you have older tile flooring that looks like it's made from a hard plastic, that flooring may contain some asbestos. The good news is that if this flooring is still in decent condition and is not chipping, you might not need to have it removed. The asbestos particles don't dislodge themselves from these harder floor materials easily. Some people like to cover up the asbestos tile with another type of flooring rather than have it removed since removal stirs up more particles and is more likely to lead to asbestos exposure.
2. Between the walls
Asbestos insulation was really common for a while because as it turns out, asbestos is a really good insulator. Your inspector will probably take a few samples of insulation from between the walls and test them for asbestos. If asbestos is found here, it will likely need to be removed since insulation is looser and more likely to release strands of asbestos into the air.
3. Around pipes
Asbestos insulation also used to be wrapped around pipes. It is often a tan color and looks a bit like the paper that butchers use to wrap meat. You may see it on hot water pipes, in particular, and also on any pipes associated with a boiler heating system. The good news is that this type of asbestos material is pretty easy to remove and replace. You will still want to have it done professionally, but it's a lot less involved than having to remove asbestos insulation or flooring from your home.
In any older home, it is a good idea to have an asbestos inspection from a professional. If possible, you should do this before you buy the home so you know how much you're going to have to put into removal.