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Architect Checking Insulation During House Construction project

Do home inspections check for asbestos?

Your home is more than just a major financial investment and a place to keep all your stuff, it’s supposed to be your safe haven, your shield from the dangers of the outside world. However, there are still countless homes that are hiding a silent killer: asbestos. 

This hazardous material was commonly used in construction up till the late 20th century due to its fire-resistant and insulating properties. While considered a miracle material in its time, now it’s a lurking menace since when it is disturbed, asbestos fibers can become airborne and are hazardous when inhaled.

One of the best weapons against asbestos is a diligent home inspection. A home inspection plays a critical role in identifying potential threats and ensuring the safety and long-term well-being of the home’s inhabitants. This brings up an incredibly important question: “Do home inspections check for asbestos?” Let’s dig in and find out the answer. 

The Standard Home Inspection Procedure

A standard home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. It typically includes an evaluation of the state of the heating system in the home, as well as the central air conditioning system (weather permitting), the roof, interior plumbing, electrical systems, attic, visible insulation, floors,  walls, ceilings, windows, doors, the crawlspace or foundation, the basement, and all accessible structural components.

That said, the main goal of a standard home inspection is to locate or identify defects in specific components or systems that are predefined by the standards of practice in the inspection industry. While it’s thorough, the scope of a standard home inspection might not always extend to specialized concerns such as the presence of asbestos.

Asbestos Identification During Home Inspections

The truth is, the identification of asbestos isn’t typically included in the standard home inspection checklist, even when in an area or specific building where asbestos would be possible or likely. Asbestos inspection requires a specialized approach, including sample collection and laboratory testing, which goes beyond the general visual examination conducted during a standard home inspection. That said, some home inspectors with additional certifications and training may offer asbestos inspection as a supplemental service. 

Why Asbestos Inspection Is Important

Asbestos is typically not a threat, in that if you just leave it alone and never disturb it, you’ll likely (but not definitely) never suffer the consequences of exposure. If disturbed, however, the fibers can become inhaled or ingested, with long-term exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to severe health conditions including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.

While it’s not as urgent as, say, a gas leak, inspecting for asbestos isn’t just about keeping in line with safety guidelines, it’s about safeguarding the health and lives of the residents. Knowing for sure if asbestos is present in a home allows homeowners or residents to make more informed decisions about how to proceed in terms of management or removal. 

Ensuring Asbestos Protection

Conducting a thorough asbestos inspection requires a bit of groundwork. When scheduling a home inspection, it’s advisable to inquire if they offer asbestos inspection or if they can recommend a reputable asbestos inspection service. It’s not typically covered under a standard home inspection, so homeowners or potential buyers should typically be working with specialized asbestos inspectors, like Sensitive Environmental. It’s also wise to read through the inspection contract to understand what is and isn’t covered. 

Keep Your Home Safe With Sensitive Environmental

Having the peace of mind of knowing that your home is asbestos-free is much more than just having a box checked off a list. By being proactive in ensuring asbestos inspection, you are taking a big step toward having a healthier, safer living environment. For the leader in asbestos inspection and remediation, reach out to Sensitive Environmental today.

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