Renovating an older home is a great way to create a beautiful home and to increase the value of the property. Many first-time buyers go down this route as an affordable and profitable way to make their entry onto the property ladder, and it's also appealing to those who want to create a real estate portfolio with a second home.
One of the most pressing issues with older homes is dealing with asbestos that's contained within many of the building products used to construct older homes. While the presence of asbestos may send some buyers scampering, it's unrealistic to expect older homes to be free from asbestos-containing products. It's better to understand the issue properly so that you can complete your renovation project safely and legally. To help you to understand the major concerns involving asbestos, here are four frequently asked questions on the topic.
1. How do I know if my home contains asbestos?
It's safe to assume that any home built before the 1980s, when asbestos become a banned material, will contain asbestos in some form. The trouble is, identifying asbestos can't be done visually and it can be found in unexpected places, such as in paint, pipes and the backing of flooring. You'll need to get any materials that you intend to remove or fracture tested by a qualified contractor.
2. How do I remove asbestos from my home?
Asbestos removal is a specialist trade that requires training and certification. It's illegal to attempt to remove materials that you know contain asbestos. Asbestos is most dangerous when it's being removed because any damage to the material can release the tiny but deadly fibres which cause asbestosis and lung cancer.
3. Can intact asbestos products be retained?
Legally, you don't have to remove intact asbestos materials from your home, but it's highly recommended that you do. There are no guarantees that the asbestos materials won't be disturbed in the future, by accident, ignorance or damage to your home from a storm or other natural disaster. The responsible and safe option is to have it removed.
4. What do I do with asbestos that's removed from my home?
There are very strict laws which govern the handling, removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials. These vary slightly from state to state, but they all require a certified contractor to prepare the material in question for disposal and for the materials to be delivered to the relevant disposal location that is provided by your local council.