When looking to purchase a new home, there are many things you should take into consideration, from the community in which it’s located to the size and style of the house.  One consideration that may not be as obvious is the building materials used, and whether asbestos is present in the house.

In the past, asbestos was a durable and versatile material used in many building components because of its incredible fire-resistant qualities.  Asbestos is sometimes found in drywall, flooring, ceiling tiles, insulation, and roof shingles, to name just a few of the many applications.  This is especially true of houses constructed between 1930 and 1980, when asbestos use was most prevalent throughout the home construction, as well as many other industries uses.   

Asbestos Exposure Can Lead to Deadly Diseases

Once asbestos fibers are inhaled, they may become trapped in the linings of your lungs and can lead to deadly diseases such as lung cancer, Mesothelioma, or asbestosis, which often develop decades after exposure.

When looking to buy a home, especially older homes, you may wish to have it inspected for asbestos due to its known health hazards.  Licensed professional asbestos inspectors should be hired to determine if a danger exists.  State and local health departments and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regional offices are reliable sources of information for finding the right local, licensed professionals for the job.   It is important to remember that due to the potential health dangers of asbestos, you should always seek out a trained professional and never take it into your own hands.  

Professional Inspector Can Make Sure Your New Home is Asbestos-Free

To make sure your home is asbestos-free, a qualified, professional inspector should perform a visual assessment before collecting and analyzing samples in a lab setting.  If the inspector informs you that asbestos has been identified, you should hire specially trained contractors to repair or remove it using proper safety precautions.


Jessica McNeil is a Litigation Paralegal at Cooney & Conway. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and a paralegal certificate from Loyola University Chicago. You can find Jessica on Google+ and LinkedIn.

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