Selling Property with Asbestos on It

By Stan G. in Health

In recent decades, the American population has learned about the damaging health effects caused by asbestos. The term actually refers to six types of minerals, i.e. actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and tremolite, with the most dangerous of them being amosite (brown asbestos), chrysotile (white asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos).

The mineral with a fibrous texture was on its way to monumental popularity as early as the 19th century, as the Industrial Revolution was setting in motion successful businesses after successful businesses. Deposits of asbestos were to be found across the whole United States and since the mineral possesses characteristics such as a powerful resistance to fire, the ability to withstand corrosion, flexibility, strength, and lightness, manufacturers began using asbestos fibers to build just about anything from military equipment to Navy ships, to public edifices and personal homes.

Is Asbestos Always a Threat?

Encountering asbestos on a daily basis at their jobs and inside their houses, Americans were not informed of the high toxicity of the mineral until as recent as the 1970s since it was during this period that enough scientific data was gathered for authorities to demand the regulation of asbestos usage, with white asbestos being the first type of asbestos considered for banning. The damage, however, had already mostly been done since at the same time the general public became aware of the dangers posed by the exposure to the mineral, people that have interacted with asbestos a few decades prior were being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.

The thing that people have to keep in mind about the mineral is that it does not represent a threat if it is enclosed in a compound. However, if the item is falling apart or it is deteriorating in a way that would lead to the creation of dust, then the toxic fibers would be released into the air and they would be inhaled by unsuspecting individuals. Medical records show that asbestos fibers cannot be expelled by the human body on its own and at the same time no particular symptoms would appear to cause the person to get a check-up. The signs of a developing asbestos disease match the signs of multiple other illnesses while also usually taking a few decades, sometimes even up to 60 years, to even manifest which is why it has generally been the case for too many patients to not be able to receive treatment that would make any significant difference.

The Legality of Selling Property with Asbestos on It

If the house you intend to sale has been built before the 1980s, the safest route would be to act on the assumption that it might have been constructed using asbestos-containing materials. Even if it is in a good condition and there would be no risks associated with living there, the homeowner in the United States has the legal obligation to disclose to the potential buyer if there is asbestos on the property. It is legal to sell houses that have asbestos in them as long as this information is being disclosed to the clients from the beginning. In most of the cases, an older house might have asbestos in its insulation, in the flooring, and in walls, in the shingles on the roof or there could be pipes built from cement that has had asbestos poured into it.

It would not be enough to venture into a future transaction regarding the sale without the documents provided by an accredited asbestos professional stating the presence or absence of the toxic mineral on your premises. Therefore, to avoid being in this position, the seller should have the building tested in advance so that their claims about the house are backed up by licensed asbestos specialists. Additionally, although it is within the confines of the law to sell property with asbestos on it to anyone who would be interested in it, the chances for more people to be interested increase when there is no asbestos involved in the conversation at all.

Thus, if you know for sure that there is asbestos on the property you intend to sell, you should look into the services of an abatement company and have them rid you of the problem in a safe manner. In this way, potential buyers will not be driven away by the asbestos issue and the probability to meet an eager client is exponentially increased.

Why Should I Test Products in My Home for Asbestos?

It is often impossible to tell whether asbestos is embedded in a material, as the fibers are too small to be observed with the naked eye. Exposure to asbestos is responsible for serious respiratory conditions, so thorough testing is required to ensure your home is asbestos-free.