Should I Buy a House That Has Asbestos?

There are many old homes for sale in Australia and they make up a significant portion of real estate property sales every year. Plenty of people are charmed by the craftsmanship of these homes, and there are also those who believe that restoring these homes to their old glory is inherently green.

But what if the house that you want has asbestos? Should you still buy it given that asbestos has long been established as a highly dangerous material?

“Should I buy a house that has asbestos?”

This is a question that you best not pose to your realtor because the job of the realtor is to get you to buy; instead, turn to the professionals who know asbestos well.

Asbestos in old homes is typically present in attics, flooring, walling, insulation, doors, and fireplaces. They were common components of building materials before they were banned in the country in 1991. Medical studies revealed that long-term exposure to asbestos can lead to grave illnesses such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, pleural plaques, and asbestosis. People develop these illnesses when they inhale the asbestos fibres.

Inhaling asbestos fibres only happens if the fibres are exposed and they get disturbed, making them airborne. Therefore, if asbestos is left alone and it’s in a material that is completely intact, it is usually fairly safe. Now, the issue you have to address is, “Is there a way of keeping building materials intact for as long as you live in the house?”

Certified asbestos experts say that, perhaps, if the world isn’t experiencing weather changes and natural disasters, it may be possible to keep asbestos in building elements undisturbed, but that is not the case. All sorts of situations may occur; wear and tear is inevitable, as well as accidents. And of course, there’s no controlling what nature can unleash, which may have a direct impact on the structural integrity of the house.

Needless to say, you simply can’t risk it with asbestos, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t buy the house. What you should do is hire a licensed asbestos assessor or inspector to help you find out what you’re dealing with. There are three types of inspections: Type 1 Presumptive Asbestos Inspections, Type 2 Sampling Inspections, and Type 3 Demolition and Refurbishment Asbestos Inspections. Determine how thorough you want inspections to be to identify which of the three types to carry out, and what requirements need to be met for proper execution of the inspection.

Once you obtain sufficient information on the asbestos present in the property, you can then think about whether to push through with the purchase or not. You have different options to work with if you really like the property; if there’s not much asbestos present, you can easily have that removed by licensed asbestos removalists, while still preserving most of the structure. Alternatively, if a great amount of money will be doled out for asbestos removal and renovation of the house, perhaps you can negotiate the asking price for the property.

So, if you need to know if you should buy a house with asbestos, it really is all up to you. The important thing is to evaluate if the property is truly worth all the trouble of asbestos testing and asbestos removal to address the health and safety risks, the amount of money for both testing and removal, and longer dialogues with sellers.

Call Jim’s Asbestos Removal on 131 546 or book online now for your free no-obligation quote!


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