How to avoid and manage asbestos

References to asbestos tend to alert people, but the material itself can still be quite elusive. Many of us recognize that it poses a serious health threat during exposure, but its application in our society and why such dangerous minerals are so widespread in public construction. There is a lack of understanding as to whether it is being used.

To avoid the costly complexity of buying a home with asbestos problems, it is possible to recognize the signs and ensure that the necessary checks are performed before you buy the property. It is beneficial. However, in some cases, despite prior attention, asbestos is often hidden and you may discover it in your property long after construction begins. In this case, proper management of asbestos is important for health, legal and, of course, financial reasons.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of silicate minerals made of long, fine and strong fibers. Very resistant to electricity, water, heat and chemicals. Its unique wide range of resistance makes it a valuable material in construction and other industries. Before commercial use was regulated, asbestos was widely used in insulation, heating, electricity, flooring and roofing.

Why is it dangerous?

Asbestos fibers are easily separated and can easily float in the air if disturbed. This usually happens during construction or refurbishment. The durability of this mineral means that the fibers are not broken down by the body when inhaled or swallowed. Prolonged exposure to these particles accumulates in the lungs and ultimately causes tissue damage. Some severe asbestos-related disorders include mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.

Which property is at risk?

Asbestos was a central feature of home construction in the 1930s and 1980s, although many European countries now ban its use in building materials. If the property in question dates back to this period, it is likely that asbestos has been or is used in the structure.

3 Tips for Avoiding Properties with Asbestos

The ideal scenario is to avoid asbestos altogether, but asbestos certainly does not have to interfere with real estate transactions. Here are some tips for avoiding the characteristics of asbestos.

1. Pre-check when watching

Certainly not limited to the following locations, but it is generally worth paying attention to asbestos-rich building materials. It’s a good idea to contact your realtor about the existence of these materials, especially for items such as:

  • Insulation between wall dividers
  • White tape on the heating duct
  • Insulation around boilers, ducts, pipes, wood stoves, fireplaces
  • Vermiculite insulation
  • 9×9 floor tiles
  • Acoustic ceiling tile
  • Cement products such as siding, gutters and rainwater pipes
  • Popcorn ceiling texture
  • Adhesive used under flooring.

2. Ask the real estate agent

It is not enough to visually check the presence or absence of asbestos and its condition. We recommend that you ask a real estate agent for an asbestos evaluation report for your property. If you can’t provide it, we strongly recommend that you do it before proceeding.

3. Request an asbestos survey

There are different types of asbestos surveys with different degrees of inclusiveness. The type of investigation required depends on the type of work being done on the property, distinguishing between demolition, refurbishment, etc. At this stage, it is very convenient to have an expert such as an architect guide you. Specific requirements based on property planning along with relevant government regulations.

Despite the most detailed screening, it is worth remembering that asbestos can be found deep in the structure of a building and can only be found during a thorough refurbishment. In these unfortunate situations, refurbishment should be discontinued and the focus should shift to asbestos management before proceeding.

3 Tips for Managing Properties with Asbestos

If you find that a property contains asbestos, you can take steps to manage it and remove it from the property. Here are three tips for managing and handling properties using asbestos.

1. Perform deep inspection

If asbestos is found during the refurbishment process, you must first hire a company for a thorough inspection. This inspection will give you the necessary information about the extent and condition of asbestos on the premises.

2. Permission and deletion / management

This depends on the law from region to region, but some products, including asbestos, can be “sealed” rather than completely removed if they are considered to be in good condition without threats. In most places, if you find asbestos, you must report it to the municipality and a management plan must be devised. At this stage, you also need to obtain the corresponding permissions to support your management plan. Processing of asbestos cannot be started until such permission is granted by the municipality.

3. Expected cost

No one is allowed to work in the field while the removal company handles asbestos on the premises. Contractors may need compensation for this waiting period, and it is recommended that the initial contract discuss such possibilities. The cost of managing and / or removing asbestos itself varies greatly depending on its amount, its location within the building, and what needs to be replaced.

Get expert help in dealing with asbestos

Encountering a property with asbestos is a source of concern and should be taken seriously, but it does not have to be a complete transaction break. With proper risk assessment, you should be able to assess the condition of asbestos-containing products and determine if you can afford the treatment that is potentially needed.

Having an expert on board is also very helpful in situations where asbestos is unexpectedly discovered during refurbishment. Past experience in such scenarios means that architects can effectively negotiate timelines for new projects with contractors and may be able to recommend cost-effective moving companies. Unfortunately, unwanted development tends to occur during refurbishment, so having an expert in your corner who sees it all doesn’t hurt.

How to avoid and manage asbestos

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