April 15th, 2009, posted by Brandon
April is National Asbestos Awareness month. From time to time we get questions about asbestos in houses and so we thought this article might be helpful to everyone. Most home inspectors are trained to identify potential asbestos problems that may need further investigation.
Washington D.C. Homeowners Utilizing Eco-friendly Materials instead of Asbestos
In the Washington D.C. real estate industry, there are many things to consider when purchasing or remodeling a home. Located in the Northeastern part of the United States, the city is known for being the nation’s capitol, hosting the presidential White House and the U.S. congress. Aside from politics, Washington D.C. is known for being the largest metropolitan city in the country and its rich history.
Living in the 21st century, many cities are adapting to the new green paradigm, updating old homes and buildings to suit the needs of a healthier environment and home. Utilized in homes as a form of piping and insulation throughout the 20th century, asbestos manufacterers were aware of the corrosive effects of the substance, but continued manufacturing it anyways. This obsolete building material can easily be replaced with green methods of insulation that can even reduce annual energy costs!
Potential Washington D.C. homeowners should know that homes built before 1980 have the chance of containing asbestos. This should not make you too worries because asbestos exposure can be prevented by taking easy and simple precautions.
If you believe asbestos is located in your home, sometimes the best action is no action at all. Experts will advise to leave it un-disturbed, as this can cause its fibers to be broken down and released into the air. If you are embarking on a remodeling project, a general contractor will usually be responsible for providing materials, equipment and labor for a remodeling project. Prior to the renovation, they should be aware if any hazardous materials are present.
Prolonged exposure to asbestos can sometimes lead to the development of mesothelioma, a rare but severe lung ailment. Mesothelioma causes are as a result of inhaling asbestos fibers that become ingested in the inner linings of your lung. Due to the fact many mesothelioma symptoms are similar to less serious ailments, Diagnosis of mesothelioma is one of the more difficult tasks physicians encounter.
If asbestos removal is necessary, it can be costly but the worth the price of obtaining a healthy and safe home. The removal of asbestos from homes, buildings and public facilities should be performed by a licensed abatement contractor, who is trained and licensed in handling hazardous materials.
Recently, President Barack Obama signed 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. Some of the measures that are eligible for tax credits include added insulation to walls, ceilings, or other part of the building envelope that meets the 2009 IECC specifications, sealing cracks in the building shell and ducts to reduce heat loss. Storm doors paired with U-factored rated wood doors are also eligible.
As education and technology of green sustainable practices increase, the numbers will continue to rise. Alternatives to asbestos include cotton fiber, which can reduce energy consumption up to 25 percent, and cellulose. In the 21st century, there is no need to put yourselves and your families at risk at the hands of asbestos. These new alternatives will allow real estate men, women and potential homeowners to be free and clear of any health damaging substances.