Before buying a home, you will probably have a home inspector assess the property. But will they test for asbestos? The answer is probably not – for several reasons.
Any home built before 1980 most likely has some asbestos. Various materials contain asbestos including floor tiles, pipe insulation and shingles. But just being there doesn’t make it a health hazard. If you are not planning on doing renovations, it is possible that the material won’t be disturbed.
When doing a thorough check for asbestos, inspecting visually is not enough. You need to take physical samples – and this can cause minor damage to walls and floors. Most homeowners will not agree to this being done during the home buying process.
Your inspector can flag areas that may be of more immediate concern – damaged pipe insulation or siding that needs to be replaced. Based on this, you can ask for a further investigation of those areas by a qualified asbestos inspector. Then you can negotiate your offer based on work that needs to be addressed.
If you plan any renovations or remodeling down the line, include asbestos testing and potential abatement in your budget from the start. This will help you to avoid any unpleasant surprises later.