I am replacing my furnace and was told our air ducting is insulated with asbestos. The contractors I have

Asked by Jamie Glenn, San Mateo, CA Thu Oct 25, 2007

received quotes from both said that 90% of the time they don't remove it as it's a very small amount and you have to get a special company that is certified to remove it. My house was built in 1972, which from what I hear was asbestos was used quite frequently and it's common. My question is, it was never disclosed when I bought the house 3 years ago that it contained asbestos and now that I know about it, if I don't get it removed do I have to disclose it? and Does disclosing it affect the value of the home?

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Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Thu Oct 25, 2007
Hello Jamie. If the owners knew about the asbestos in the air duct insulation, then they probably should have disclosed it. The mere fact that it's present is not necessarily a problem as long as the insulation is still intact so that the asbestos cannot get airborne. I am wondering what the HVAC contractor said about getting the air ducts tested for leakage. Since you are located in CA, you'll have to comply with both federal and CA regulations for air duct testing any time you upgrade or replace a heating or conditioning unit. There are some exceptions to the air duct testing, but I don't know if your home qualifies. You will probably also need a permit to replace the furnace and the permit maybe conditioned upon compliance with the air duct testing requirement. I am mentioning this because some contractors do not comply with those requirements and when you want to sell, you'll have to deal with it at the time of the sale. You can go the the following website to get more information about the air duct testing requirements and see if you might qualify for one of the exemptions http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/changeout/2005-08-02_NEW_DU…

Good luck,
Ute Ferdig
Web Reference:  http://www.theMLShub.com
2 votes
I agree.
Flag Sun Oct 12, 2014
Ed Gory, Agent, San Carlos, CA
Thu Oct 25, 2007
If you know it, then you definitely should disclose it. I believe that any company that removes asbestos needs to have a special state certification -- a typical contractor wouldn't do the work, so it's right that 90% of the time they don't do it (although I'd hope that the 10% of the time that it's done they have certified workers doing it). I recently replaced my furnace, and it cost about $1000 to remove all the asbestos between the old furnace and the 50 year old heater ducts. If you're in the San Mateo area, R&R Marcucci Heating is a great company (though for asbestos removal, they will outsource it to a certified vendor).
2 votes
Lee Ginsburg, Agent, San Bruno, CA
Sun May 31, 2009

In our area it is quite common. Does not affect the value. For my knowledge it does not affect your health as long as it is covered and not disturbed.
As others stated if removing it is your budget go for it. Otherwise not and just disclose it. Many improvements offer a good return when selling. This one does not.
Lee Ginsburg -Prudential. http://www.leesellsmore.com
Web Reference:  http://www.leesellsmore.com
0 votes
Monika J., Both Buyer And Seller, Los Angeles, CA
Sun May 31, 2009
Your house probably have asbestos in it even if you do not see it. It can be all around you, ceiling, floor, heating system, air ducts etc.
You should contact a company that specializing in removing and reinstalling new air ducts.
We are in Los Angeles and the company I used for our "old" house was Indoor Air Care.
They did a great job all around with great price and great tech's.
Hope this helps.
0 votes
Lenore and A…, Agent, Vista, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2008
Any house built before 1975 is likely to contain asbestos. You notice the key word is "likely". If you have blown ceilings you may have asbestos there, too. Depending on which real estate brokerage you use, you may have a disclosure about the possiblity of asbestos, or you may not. I wouldn't worry about it at this time. When it comes time to sell your house, you may find a place to disclose this within the forms you fill out that asks but the contracts that are used in CA talk about asbestos in older homes. It is a known fact.

Your agent should have mentioned asbestos when you bought the house but since he/she didn't, be aware of it in the future. You can never over disclose any known fact about your house to potential sellers. EVER.
0 votes
Jamie Glenn, , San Mateo, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2007
thanks for all the replies, very helpful.
0 votes
Carrie, Both Buyer And Seller, Say Cheese!
Thu Oct 25, 2007
I would say you should hire the asbestos guys and have done with it. Now that you know, there is a duty to disclose, since a new owner can see that furnace work was done, and you would have known. What would you think if you were on the jury?

If you do the work now, you can tell a buyer that you have done the asbestos work with certified guys.

As far as asbestos, it only takes a little bit, anyway. It was in hair dryers, too, and school tiles. It's probably more than a little bit, if it was used for insulation. What? Insulate just a little bit of the ducts?
0 votes
Cindy Maves, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Thu Oct 25, 2007
Have you contacted the company referred to you by your contractor for a quote on what is involved to remove it? That would be my first suggestion.

Material defects..disclose, disclose.
Web Reference:  http://www.northropteam.com
0 votes
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