If you are in the market for a new house you may wonder, “Do home inspections check for asbestos?” This is a common question for homebuyers and so, it may also be on your mind. Asbestos is a term that includes six naturally occurring minerals that take on a thin, needle-like consistency. However, asbestos can also take on other qualities making it easy to accidentally inhale or ingest as a cloud of odorless dust or vapor. 

How To Know if Your Home Has Asbestos

Asbestos accumulates inside of your body so it is important to know if your home contains this hazardous material. While it is not usually required to tell a homebuyer that asbestos is present in a house, some state regulations do protect the buyer. Talk to a real estate professional about how to tell if your home has asbestos.  

Asbestos is found in these common building materials:

  • Insulation
  • Shingles
  • Cement
  • Floor & ceiling tiles
  • Tape 
  • Plastic
  • Drywall compounds
  • Popcorn ceiling texture
  • Glues, adhesives & sealants 

Learning how to tell if your home has asbestos can take some detective work. However, as a general rule if you are looking at homes built before 1980 (and in some cases newer homes) you can assume they contain asbestos. Even if the home is in good condition an asbestos evaluation is necessary to ensure your health is protected and your family is safe from damages. 

 how to tell if your home has asbestos

Health Concerns Associated With Asbestos

There are numerous connections between asbestos and health problems. Inflammation, pulmonary issues, reproductive concerns, and other health problems have been linked to asbestos exposure. Talking to your health-care provider may reveal that asbestos is not safe in your body at any level. This harmful substance builds up in the body over time and so adding an asbestos test to your homebuyer To-Do list is essential.  

Does This House Contain Asbestos? 

You may not know exactly how much asbestos is inside a home you have your eye on without an accurate test. This hazardous compound can be found in numerous materials under different names. 

Here are six names of asbestos:

  1. Chrysotile (white asbestos)
  2. Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
  3. Amosite (brown asbestos)  
  4. Anthophyllite
  5. Actinolite
  6. Tremolite 

Currently, these are the types of asbestos as outlined in the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).

“Should I buy a house with asbestos siding?” the answer is “No.” Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that can be processed into a fluffy material. Used for many purposes, some of the most notable qualities of asbestos include insulation, flexibility, and strengthening including cloth, paper, cement, and other materials. However, if you inhale or ingest asbestos in any form including its mineral fibers, dust or vapor, the body can trap the substance. 

You must understand that asbestos is considered to be a harmful substance to the body. Because it cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, it may not be detectable. A home seller does not have to test for asbestos before listing a house on the market. While selling a home with asbestos without telling the buyer can cause health problems to the new owner, it is not illegal to sell the home without disclosing the asbestos is present. If health-related damages are caused to the buyer, state regulations may hold the seller liable. Today, it is best to check the legislature in your area before buying a home. 

Call the offices of Jeff Barchi to discuss houses on the market for sale in your area. If you have a specific property in mind, you can discuss the risks of asbestos in the home and what steps you need to take to protect yourself from harm. Many people do not ask their realtors, “Is it legal to sell a house with asbestos?” While asbestos evaluation and disclosure are not part of the pre-purchase home due diligence, you may need to do more in order to stay safe from asbestos health damages.