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February 2019

Suspect asbestos? Get it tested

 
Asbestos is an issue that often comes up when inspecting older homes, even homes that have been “completely renovated.”  Textured “popcorn” ceilings, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, vinyl flooring, roofing materials, insulation, and white tape wrap on pipes and furnace ducting commonly contain asbestos.  In fact (news flash!), did you know that even modern homes could contain asbestos? Asbestos isn’t typically a health concern unless it becomes disturbed or starts falling apart. In the industry, the term “friable” is often employed, which means “easily crumbled.” 

If you suspect asbestos in your home—and it appears “friable” or could in any way become compromised—it could very well be a safety issue worth investigating for safety and liability reasons.  If you’re planning to renovate a home- even a newer home- testing materials to be disturbed or removed for asbestos is advised by professionals.  Confirming asbestos requires laboratory analysis, which is not very expensive. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency website to learn more about asbestos in homes.

 
Thanks for reading!  
- Tim Hance

3 Questions: CAZ Environmental

Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call 3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.
 
This month, we talk asbestos with Dan Dunne, Manager at CAZ Environmental in Bellingham.
 
Q1: In your experience how common is asbestos in our area?
“Because of its unique properties of being fireproof, chemically resistant, waterproof, and durable, asbestos was deliberately mixed into thousands of different building materials.  We commonly see asbestos in popcorn ceiling, vinyl floors, 
drywall and drywall mud, roofing, fire blocking, mastics, attic insulation, siding, stucco, window caulking, heating ducts, and, water pipes.”
 
Q2: “Is there a cutoff year when asbestos was banned for homes in the United States or should all homes be tested for asbestos?”
“A common misconception is that asbestos is banned in the United States.  A wide variety of products are allowed to contain asbestos and be manufactured, imported, processed, or sold in the U.S., including cement corrugated sheet, cement flat sheet, clothing, pipeline wrap, roofing felt, vinyl floor tile, cement shingle, millboard, cement pipe, gaskets, and roof coatings.
 
“Many manufacturers have stopped adding asbestos to their products, even if allowed, due to the clear link between asbestos and lung disease.  However, asbestos mines in Asbest (Russia) and Gansu Province (China), continue to produce more than a million metric tons of chrysotile per year.
 
“The continued use of asbestos is part of the reason why any building material that is disturbed or demolished is required to be tested for asbestos and, if positive, to be removed by a certified asbestos abatement contractor.”
 
Q3: What is the typical cost for an asbestos test and how long does it take to get results? 
“Asbestos tests cost $500-$1500 per home, depending on the number of materials in the home that need to be sampled.  We also process samples that are dropped off at our office for $50 per sample.  Results are generally available the next business day.  Asbestos removal in a home can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000, depending on the type and amount of material being removed, and how easy it is to access.”
 
About CAZ Environmental
CAZ Environmental was founded in 2013 with a mission to protect the health and safety of its clients, employees, and public throughout Northwest Washington. The company works with 13 employees to sample and remove asbestos, lead, and mold in residential, commercial and industrial settings that range from mobile homes to mansions.
 
If there is one thing Dan Dunne recommends, it’s this: When in doubt, get it tested.
 
“Whether you are a property owner, contractor, or handyman, the fines, lawsuits, and medical issues that result from improperly removing or disposing of asbestos can quickly ruin your day,” he said. A big “thanks” to Dan and CAZ Environmental for their responses!
 
Questions or comments about asbestos or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

#AllIslandsLife Photo Contest: We Have a Winner!
 
Congrats to Lori Christensen of Bellingham!; Enter New Contest for Chance to Win $20 Starbuck’s Gift Card!
Well, our first #AllIslandsLife photo contest has come and gone. Thanks for all your entries! In the end, there could be only one winner.

Congratulations to Lori Christensen, Broker with RE/MAX Whatcom County!  I’ve worked with Lori for years and have found her to be the consummate professional, always working very hard for her clients. Thanks for the great photo of Mount Baker, Lori, and enjoy the coffee card!

Are you feeling a bit envious? Don't worry: we are running another #AllIslandsLife contest this month and giving away another Starbucks gift card.

Take your picture or video and tag them with #AllIslandsLife on Twitter or Facebook. Those who do so will have a chance to win a $20 gift card to Starbucks.


To be eligible for this new contest and a chance to win a whole lot of caffeine, please tag your imagery by March 24, 2019.

Your entries should capture scenes that you believe make this neck of the woods so special. Nature, people, food...let inspiration guide you.

We will announce the winner in next month's newsletter, so get snapping!
Copyright © 2019 All Islands Home Inspections, All rights reserved.


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