asbestos issues

Asked by newbuyerk, Ridgewood, NJ Wed Sep 18, 2013

I bought a home recently and after comments from friends, it looks like I may have a room and parts of basement with asbestos tiles. I have two questions:
1) Isnt the home inspector supposed to warn us on this ? The home buying is so complicated - is none of the inspector, assessor or sellers disclosure supposed to warn us of this ? The seller claims he didn't know but then we see relatively newer tiles in the basement - shouldn't they know ? how can we know that they really didn't know or just lied ?
2) Will the home insurance pay for removal of these tiles ?
3) Is it better to demolish the room and parts and rebuild. Do we need to call the expensive guys. One guy gave me a quote of about $2K and another $4K. Is this reasonable say for 100-200 sqft ?


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Wayne Odenbr…, Agent, Mountain Lakes, NJ
Thu Sep 19, 2013
My advise......don't overreact.

1 Barbara (the last comment) is right.

2 Who told you the tiles are asbestos? To be sure, they need to be tested.

3 An Inspector should have noted on his report that they may be asbestos and suggest you have them tested. He could not be sure without a test.

4 The Seller may not have known.

5 Many people Installing carpet and flooring over the asbestos.
You may consider that as an option
0 votes
I appreciate your answer because I am facing a similar situation. A recent inspection of my home turned up a patch of asbestos, but it is undisturbed. I had suspected that it wasn't a major problem, but I just needed confirmation.
Flag Mon Aug 25, 2014
Thanks for the info.

A visitor said they look like one as they had. I looked online and saw similar ones marked as vat. Also found that 9x9 in 60s is most likely. I guess I wont know unless tested.

1) If I retile it or cover with carpet, and continue to use the space - it will most likely get fried sometime in next 10 years - then its expensive and a health hazard. So I dont see an option but remove. Carpet is not cheap either esp over vat.

The question is if I should get it removed seperately or demo it and reconstruct the area. Is there an issue in this ? I checked NJ site and it says vat can be removed by any contractor without following abatement procedure. So it should be cheaper.

3) inspector has no notes and the area is in the open. So he cant say he couldnt see. Can I get comp'd by him ? My friends suggested talking to a lawyer.

Flag Thu Sep 19, 2013
Barbara Ostr…, Agent, Closter, NJ
Wed Sep 18, 2013
The concerns about asbestos contamination have been clarified in recent years. Home inspectors all agree that the dangerous kind is the white stuff wrapped around water and heating pipes in the basement, often with frayed edges around joints or corners. If this gets removed incorrectly, airborne particles can remain in your basement and cause health issues. The floor tiles, on the other hand, along with some home's outside asbestos shingles, are sealed and do not cause this airborne danger. Yes, you can pay to have them removed -- or your can simply leave them in place and put either a basement carpet, ceramic tile or laminate flooring over them and that would solve your problem far less expensively. Some of the laminate flooring looks like wood, and there are a few samples that even look like tile, very attractive -- plus it's easy to keep clean with a mop. (I have that in my kitchen, and few people notice the difference!)

Unfortunately, once you have closed on a house, it's hard to keep the former seller liable for anything in the condition of the house, especially if you had a home inspection. But if it's simply flooring you are worried about, don't be -- it's easily solved. If there is wrapping around the pipes, that should get removed, however.
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