Should we buy a house that has asbestos siding?

Answered by Brendan ~ March 29, 2010 ~ Comments

We have fallen in love with an old turn of the century home in Bloomington. Unfortunately, the home inspection revealed that there is asbestos siding on the house. We're a young couple and hope to have children someday, but don't want our children to be living in a house with toxic siding. Should this siding be removed? And is this kind of work too expensive? Or should we give up on the house and look for one that doesn't have asbestos siding?

Kathy P. ~ Bloomington, Indiana

Brendan Fowler

Asbestos can pose both financial and health risks. The best thing to do with asbestos in good condition is to leave it alone. Disturbing it may create a health hazard where none existed before. Asbestos building products are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, dilled, or cut.

Removal and disposal of asbestos building products can be very costly. Check with your local Department of Health, and find out what the requirements are for the removal and disposal of asbestos building products. You may find that the possibility of any future repairs and or removal may represent too large a risk both physically and financially, to feel comfortable buying this home.

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