Orlando Real Estate

Asbestos in the Home

May 7th, 2009 7:23 AM by David W. Welch

The following is being posted with permission from Paul James with the Mesothelioma Cancer Center. My own grandfather suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused by years of working with asbestos building ships in WWII.


Located in the central part of Florida, the city of Orlando is renowned for hosting world class theme parks, hospitality hub and diverse rural areas. What potential home buyer would not want to call this city their home? The journey to purchasing a home is an enjoyable time in one’s life. But it is one that will bring many additional responsibilities. Having the assistance of an honest real estate agent can make all of the difference during this process.Often appearing in roof shingles, popcorn ceilings, piping and insulation, asbestos became one of the most popular building applications of the 20th century. Due to its flame resistant and highly durable qualities, asbestos was the ideal form of insulation for many industries. One of the main things that can go unnoticed is taking simple precautions to avoid asbestos exposure.Potential Orlando homeowners or those seeking to remodel older homes should be aware that homes built prior to 1980 may still harvest asbestos materials. This should not make you jump out of your chair because asbestos exposure is easily avoidable by taking simple precautions.Asbestos in the HomeIf you locate any suspected asbestos in the home, most experts suggest leaving it un-disturbed until a home inspector can examine your property, take evaluations and determine the safest course of action. Sometimes the best action is no action at all. Disturbing asbestos in good condition may cause its fibers to be released into the air.Long term exposure to damaged airborne asbestos fibers can lead to the development of a severe lung ailment known as mesothelioma. With a latency period that can last 20 to 50 years, this makes mesothelioma prognosis from physicians a difficult task. There are a number of factors that can impact mesothelioma survival rate. These factors include latency period, age of diagnosis and cigarette smoking.Healthy TipsRemoval of asbestos in public facilities, workplaces and homes should be performed by licensed abatement contractors as long as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) are not violated. They must wear protective equipment such as masks and gloves to avoid any exposure. The materials should be removed in as large pieces as possible and places in disposable bags.If asbestos is removed, green forms of insulation should be used as replacements. These include the use implementation of recycled building materials such as lcynene foam, cotton fiber and cellulose. These alternatives not only allow for a healthy and safe home, but can bring down annual energy costs.For example, the use of cotton fiber foam has demonstrated to reduce energy costs by 25 % per year. As education and technology of green sustainable practices increase, the numbers will continue to rise.There is no need for any products used in construction to be made from asbestos; yet over 3,000 work and home-based materials still contain this toxin.Recently, congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. Included in this act were extensions to the tax incentives placed for energy efficiency in 2005, as well as new credits for homeowners who remodel or build using eco-sustainable methods. Existing homes are eligible for a series of efficiency measures that pertain to the home shell (Insulation, Windows, Sealing) worth 30% of the installed cost (materials only, labor is not included in the credit basis).

David Welch, Real Estate Optimist, @RealtyOptimist

Posted in:General
Posted by David W. Welch on May 7th, 2009 7:23 AM


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