Removing Asbestos Before Flipping

The real estate business is a job that is heavily influenced on the economy and current housing trends, such as upcoming neighborhoods and popular builders. Television shows are now telling more people to flip houses as a way to make money, however, they do not talk about the dangers with renovations. Many homes that were built 1970’s have asbestos in the insulation. Due to the potential health hazard from known carcinogens, you cannot simply rip this out. It is important for you to contact a reputable company to help you with that project.

What is it?

Asbestos is a toxic fiber that has been proven to provide insulation and it is fire resistant. However, when inhaled, it can cause cancer of the lung and chest or it can permanently scar the lungs. You may not see symptoms for years, so many do not realize they are at a risk for mesothelioma.

When to Call a Professional

When the fiber is found in a home in good condition, is not usually harmful for you, unless it is in a loose fill insulation form, as this can easily become airborne in inhaled. If it shows signs of damage or looks like it is breaking down, then it is time to contact a professional. You should not touch it, sweep it up, or even vacuum anything that appears to be the sandy fiber. Professionals are fully trained to handle the toxin, and will sample products using a test kit to see if they are harmful. Training courses teach inspectors how to conduct a safe and proper inspection, take samples, and then how to assess the findings.

When Purchasing

If you are purchasing a new home, talk to your broker agent about having a certified inspector with experience to come and do an inspection prior to making a closing payment on a home. Another option is to have the price of the house reduced, lowering the mortgage and loan payments, to cover your inspections and any removal fees. The realtor or your insurance company may have the names of various companies that you can contact to do research before choosing a removal company.

The cost of removal will vary, but the fees can be passed to the loan if the lender agrees. The home should be inspected prior to purchase though, especially if you are planning to flip it to generate revenue and increase the value of the home.

Donna J. Seymour