It can be one of the most frustrating occurrences. You find a house you adore and begin the paperwork on the condition of the home passing the inspection, you practically own the house already. But then bad news: your new dream home has asbestos. Well, now what? Fortunately, if you still wish to buy the home, there are some clear options.
Do Nothing. While we at Amity Environmental definitely suggest against this choice of inaction, you could simply do nothing. Continue with the sale, buy your new home, and keep the asbestos in mind for when you need to renovate or repair something. Left untouched, some forms of asbestos are mostly innate. The kind found in floor tiles for example is one of the “safer” forms. It’s important to remember that there isn’t any truly safe asbestos though, and if the floor is ever cracked or broken, that you’ll be in danger. Other forms of asbestos like the type found in pipe insulation are almost never “safe”. Even left alone, this type of insulation will likely release asbestos particles into the air.
Isolate, Seal or Encapsulate. This is a tricky, little choice. It has the problem of appeasing to our human biases. Which means it A) feels like we’re doing something to protect ourselves and B) is something we can do ourselves fairly cheaply. It’s the type of decision that, when completed, we like to give ourselves a pat on the back. That is arguably why it is one of the most dangerous choices. This option works by putting in a safety mechanism of sorts to trap and seal in the particles. However, it can be very difficult to actually accomplish this. Often times, the attempt fails and just as many — if not more — particles of asbestos are released. However, unlike in the first situation, the homeowner isn’t looking out for the potential danger because they believe they are already safe. If you opt for this choice, take care to have an expert look over your seals and test the air in your home frequently.
Asbestos Removal. The third option is the one Amity Environmental specializes in: asbestos abatement. As part of the terms of purchase, you can request the seller hires a professional team like Amity to remove all of the asbestos. The Alberta government strongly recommends against removing asbestos yourself, and we suggest being suspicious of anyone suggesting they will do the work themselves. Having a professional team remove the asbestos is the only way to be safe.
At Amity Environmental, we work with Calgary homeowners and asbestos every day. Our expert opinion is to never buy a home with asbestos present. If the seller refuses to pay for the removal and you don’t want to pick up the extra cost, the best choice is to cut your losses and look at the other available homes. No dream home or amazing deal is worth the terrible health risks that come with living in a home contaminated by asbestos. Do you need an expert team to test for asbestos in your home or a house you’re thinking of purchasing? Call Amity Environmental today at (403) 667-8264.