When you’re buying and flipping houses for a living, you want the properties you purchase to make your job easy.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. In fact, some things may turn a great deal into a huge nightmare… such as asbestos.
What is Asbestos, and Why Do You Have to Worry About It?
Asbestos is a natural mineral that does not easily decompose. It was typically used in homes built between the 1930s and 1970s (the U.S. government banned it for use in homes during the late 70s, so if the property you’re buying was built in the 1980s or later, the chances of it containing any asbestos are slim).
The most common uses of asbestos during that 40-year span included:
- Roofing and siding shingles
- Textured paint
- Patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints
- Artificial ashes and embers used in gas-fired fireplaces
- Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves
- Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring
- Hot water pipe and steam pipe covering
Asbestos was often added to products to make them stronger, to provide heat insulation, or to create fire resistance.
Unfortunately, many houses built as late as the 1990s may still use building materials that contain asbestos, so you can’t let your guard down.
What’s Wrong With Asbestos?
The problem with asbestos is that it is a carcinogen that has been known to cause lung cancer when inhaled.
During the asbestos removal process, tiny fibers can be released into the air – and that’s where the danger comes in. The fibers remain in the lungs for years, and over time, they can accumulate to cause scarring and inflammation (which lead to other health problems, as well).
How to Test for Asbestos
If you’re purchasing a property that’s at-risk for containing asbestos, it’s a good idea to call in an expert who can run the appropriate tests for you. Typically, a visual inspection that you conduct yourself isn’t enough; any suspicious fibers that could be asbestos will need to be tested in a laboratory.
If the samples test positive, you’ll want to hire a licensed asbestos removal service to protect yourself (both physically and legally).
Are You a Real Estate Investor Who Needs a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you’re an investor who needs a hard money loan in or around Atlanta, we may be able to help you.