Rehabbing with Asbestos-Know what your dealing with

Rehabbing with Asbestos-Know what your dealing with


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What is Asbestos??

I’m sure your thinking to yourself, What is Asbestos?? A little history of this mineral we are all so afraid of might help to relieve some of your fears.  The Origin is from the Greek word Inextinguishable. Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring minerals that are commonly known by their colors; Blue, White, Green, Yellow, Red & Brown Asbestos.  It often looks like a white or gray paper or tape-like material. Large scale mining of this began at the end of the 19th Century, which then manufacturers began using for desirable properties. A few examples would be sound absorption, tensile strength and its resistance to fire. Commonly mixed with cement or woven fabric & mats asbestos growth continued until it was public knowledge of the health hazards.The scary thing about asbestos is that the fibers are so small, you can’t see them. There’s no way of detecting asbestos once it’s in your body. Prolonged inhalation of asbestos fiber can cause serious/ fatal illness including; lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestos. By the end of the 1980’s & 1990s asbestos was phased out and banned in numerous countries. However, the US is not of the countries and still to this day is still not band from the States. When rehabbing homes, this is common for those flipping and or rehabbing old homes. Asbestos can be found in vinyl floor tiles, glue that attached floor tiles to concrete or wood, some forms of linoleum, window calking, glazing & roofing material even HVAC duct installation.

 

How do we handle this?

Do your research, saving money is ideal but your health and safety should always come first. The EPA and House Logic  has good information about the asbestos abatement process. Small amounts of asbestos,  is way less likely to cause you any problems down the road. In fact, you’ve probably already been exposed (for years it was used in car brakes, drywall, and lots of other building materials).  Best thing to do with asbestos material in good condition is to leave it as is. Asbestos that crumbles easily if handled or has been something formed into a powder is likely to releases asbestos fiber and create health hazard. In all reality, only a professional trainee should undertake these repairs when dealing with Asbestos. Although the removal of this can be pricey it’s in your best interest to properly dispose of any materials with Asbestos. You wouldn’t want to expose anyone to this. In many states contractors are required by law to notify federal state and local agencies when those are about to preform abatement activities. Once a job is completed before the contractor removes its containment system, the industrial hygiene specialist who first evaluated the property should return to take air samples to be sure no fibers have escaped. The last asbestos Mine was closed in 2002 so new production and use of this shouldn’t be a problem with new materials

 

Can it be done?

 

When it comes to Rehabbing and Flipping. Its one thing when dealing with one room affected by Asbestos however  an entire house is another story.  This would be something to look into and investigate before purchasing a property to flip. It could be one mistake that can affect your whole purchase an Profit. However, during a house flip, it is very common for asbestos particles to become airborne, which allows the risk of it getting breathed in.  A good way to tell if you’re about to enter an asbestos-laden attic, is to shine a flashlight into the air in front of you. If you see fibrous-looking dust floating around, it could definitely be old asbestos fused insulation floating around. The best advice I can give you is to get expert advice from a seasoned remodeler who knows how to deal with remodeling demolition in an older home. Do not demolish or wreck anything until you know what your dealing with.

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