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Would you buy a house knowing there was Asbestos Siding?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So we are in escrow set to close in less then 2 weeks and just got the news that there is asbestos siding on the house. Everyone keeps saying that it is no big deal, but I just don't know. We do so much to keep our family "natural" and healthy, that this just seems wierd to buy a house knowing that there is poison on the outside of it. I have chemical sensitivities and asthma and dd2 has pretty severe asthma as well. I'm wondering if this is really of little concern like everyone seems to be telling us? What would you do in a situation like this?
post #2 of 16
No way.
post #3 of 16
Ditto. That would be a deal-breaker for me.
post #4 of 16
I'd shoot off a counter off that requires an escrowed amount for new siding in addition to your original offer.

The worry with asbestos is only in an airborn form. Siding is unlikely to become airborn. However, I still wouldn't purchase it without a plan in place to replace the siding.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
I'd shoot off a counter off that requires an escrowed amount for new siding in addition to your original offer.

The worry with asbestos is only in an airborn form. Siding is unlikely to become airborn. However, I still wouldn't purchase it without a plan in place to replace the siding.
absolutely.
post #6 of 16
Nope. If for no other reason, then because it may be difficult for you to sell it unless you have it repaired. Plus with your health issues there is no way I would risk it.

Let me guess, all the people telling you it's no big deal are those involved in the sale of the house? I would get some estimates about the cost of fixing it - actual estimates, not what your agent says it will cost! They notoriously under-estimate stuff like that (our agent did). Definitely counter.
post #7 of 16
ditto. It's expensive to replace because they need to take extra precautions over what they would removing any other kind.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the responses, everyone including my family, inspectors, relators etc. keep telling me it's no big deal just don't drill it or remove it. I just feel torn, I want this home for our family. It's like a mini homestead where we will have wooden heat, no carpets, chickens, fruit trees and veggie and herb gardens. I just want to do what's best for my family and the asbestos thing has me worried.

I called around to abaitment places and got a quote of $3500 for removal, to me that doesn't seem that bad. Now I just have to price new siding and see about putting in a new offer for a bank credit. Maybe we will just get a credit for the removal and pay for the new stuff ourselves, my husband is pretty handy and could do the new siding himself.
post #9 of 16
Definitely get rid of it! Some will become airborne if kids hit it with balls, it gets knocked into by a tree, or what have you. Better safe than sorry. It's not probably a HUGE risk, but it's one I would not take. There will always be the potential for the asbestos to become airborne. I've heard there is asbestos in Crayola crayons too. Scary.
post #10 of 16
Don't they usually just insulate and side over existing asbestos siding? Our neighbor is having it done as I write, and they are not removing it.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Don't they usually just insulate and side over existing asbestos siding? Our neighbor is having it done as I write, and they are not removing it.
Yep, I think that's the routine thing to do. Asbestos isn't dangerous as long as it's contained and not being inhaled.
post #12 of 16
Nope, definate deal breaker, and even if the fix is to put new siding over the asbestos you will still have to declare it on the inspection when you go to sell in x amt of years so the issues you are feeling now will definately be felt by the potential new owners down the road.

I'd walk away.
post #13 of 16
Before you do anything, check with what you'd be replacing it with. So many products have asbestos in them, it is amazing! Paint, insulation, siding, plastering materials, adhesives, roofing materials, I can go on and on.

I'd be willing to bet money that most of the posters here have asbestos in their homes, in one form or another, without even realizing it.

For me, I don't think I'd worry too much about the exterior siding. I might insist on fresh paint (check for that asbestos, again!) before the purchase, but you could do that yourselves (and, in checking on the paints/stains you'd use, feel secure knowing it was asbestos-free).

The guy from our abatement service was telling me about how he removed the ceilings from his older home (because of a large positive asbestos reading). He replaced them with a different texture that was "spread" on (looked like thick plaster/stucco). After the job was completed, just for his own personal interest, he tested the new texture. Yup, it tested positive for asbestos!! So did the paint he used to redecorate and the new shingles on his roof!!

He told me that many of the building products that originate in CANADA still have a lot of asbestos in them. Canada doesn't regulate this as much as the US! Not a big environmental surprise to me, but still..........

Did an independent lab do the asbestos testing for you, or was it a business that also sells the removal service? I'd have it tested, again, by an indie lab, if that's the case. They have nothing to gain, financially, with the results.

We just had asbestos abatement completed on the inside of my Dad's house. It had that 1970's blown-on "popcorn" ceiling texture. It covered approx. 1,000 sq. feet and was just over $4,000. Another abatement service would have been over $4,500, and still another $4,900. So, it does pay to get more than one estimate before committing to a service.

Make sure any asbestos service provides you with a "paper trail" explaining exactly where the removed product(s) end up (not just the regular landfill)!

Also, contact your local Dept. of Ecology (or EPA) office and ask them about the companies you are considering using, to make sure they are reputable!!

Best of luck!
post #14 of 16
With a $3500 removal cost, the siding would not scare me off. It is mostly in a "solid" form and is not expected to impact indoor air quality while being on the house. Remove and replace sounds like a good idea, though - especially if you can put a fire retardant siding (steel?) on the house. Some people get reductions on their homeowner's insurance for this.
post #15 of 16
No.
post #16 of 16
Here's a link about asbestos-containing products. It's pretty amazing................

Remember, just because the US banned the use of asbestos, doens't mean it isn't in products that are imported from other countries (and, are just below the allowed minimums by US regs). If you have something labeled "Made In China" in your home, there's that chance it contains any number of toxins that would harm you!

http://www.inspect-ny.com/sickhouse/asbestoslook9.htm
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