The Nest

NestApple's Real Estate Blog

Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.

Tips to Remodel a Home With Asbestos in NYC

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Renovating your home is a great way to add value to a property. Freshen up the look of a tired space, and help generate more passive income for you and your family. However, when dealingHome With Asbestos with an old property, asbestos is one of the things you may run into.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a heat-resistant fiber that was frequently used in building construction materials for insulation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If inhaled, asbestos fibers can lead to conditions like lung cancer and mesothelioma, health hazards that became widely known in the U.S. beginning in the 1970s.

Before you start knocking down walls and taking up old floors on your property, it’s essential to know the proper procedure for how to deal with asbestos. Asbestos is considered a harmful chemical. So there is an appropriate way to remove and dispose of it to keep everyone safe. Sometimes, the best way to manage the presence of asbestos in your home is simply to contain it.

If asbestos is found, the first thing you’ll want to do is isolate the area where you suspect asbestos is hiding. It is such a dangerous chemical that under no circumstances should you attempt to fix this yourself. Exposure to asbestos creates a health risk.

Releasing it into the air can be very dangerous once it is inhaled by someone. It has been confirmed that asbestos can cause dangerous lung disease and have long term negative effects on your health. One of the problems with asbestos exposure is that it can take decades for symptoms to emerge.

Today we will look at renovating your house in NYC and provide some tips to get the best possible results. Additionally, how to avoid holding up your renovation for weeks or months. If asbestos is discovered and disturbed, get away from the area. Immediately after inform others to stay away until the issue’s been resolved.

Start by Picking the Right Contractor

Hiring a contractor is top priority.

Asbestos is not like mold or other contaminants that are pretty easy to tell if it’s there. You won’t know unless you check for it. And even then, it can hide in floor tiles or behind walls. A good contractor will take a look at the work area and test for asbestos and knows what to look for in a project, so you don’t have to worry.

Even if they find asbestos later in the project, a good contractor will have the tools and skills to mediate it immediately without much extra hassle. You will face some additional costs and time when dealing with asbestos. But the right contractor will not only know what to do, but they will also deal with it quickly and cost-effectively.

Some contractors can budget it into the job if there is a high chance that they will deal with it on your property.

Ideally, you should try to hire a licensed asbestos professional. An inspection of the property will be performed. A proper assessment will include a complete visual examination and careful collection and analysis of samples. This is why it should only be done by professionals.Before any work actually begins, aim to obtain a written contract specifying the work plan. It should details how the material, if found, will be cleaned up. The report should also include all applicable federal, state, and local regulations which the contractor must follow. The regulations vary by city but it can include permits, notification requirements and asbestos disposal procedures.

Understand the Likelihood of Having to Deal With a Home With Asbestos

Not every renovation will mean that you have to deal with asbestos. But in NYC, there are many older buildings, and any structure built as late as the 1980s is likely to have some asbestos. Asbestos began to phase out in the 1970s once people discovered it was harmful to the lungs of builders. But people stopped using it together only in the 90s.

Asbestos is a fibrous material mainly used in installation and is also found in many other building materials. Unfortunately, it wasn’t removed from many buildings and was instead covered over or left untreated. So, if you know your home is of a certain age, you can guess that you’ll be dealing with asbestos.

Choose the Most Effective Method of Disposal

When you discover asbestos during your renovation, you must decide whether to contain or remove it. Hiring a professional will help with that decision.

For small patches of asbestos, you can safely contain the material and keep it from harming anyone in your home or spreading. However,  if you have large amounts of it in your home, such as in a flooring system or lining the walls of a room, then you’ll want to remove it.

While removal of asbestos is the more costly of the two choices, it is the safest option if people live in the space. This also ensures that your house is up to code and won’t be a safety risk in the future. The best thing to do is talk with your contractor about how much asbestos there is to deal with, the chances of finding more, and the best solution for your situation.

Written By: Georges Benoliel

Georges has been working in Wall Street for the last 16 years trading derivatives with hedge funds. He has been an active real estate investor for over a decade. Georges graduated from HEC Business School in Paris and holds a master in Finance from ESADE Barcelona.

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