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FredGarvin
Asbestos in Garage

I bought my home about 11 months ago. I was in the garage yesterday and saw a sticker that said "Asbestos Cement Board" or something similar. It was in a kind of hard place to see, but when I looked around I saw two or three others that were in plain sight. I've been in my garage many times, but never noticed it before. I had a home inspection done. After doing some internet research, it seems the inspectors are reluctant to mention it. Some of it is understandable as it's under stuff where it would be impossible to know without ripping the stuff out, which the seller wouldn't want. Mine however was in relatively plain sight, but never mentioned.

I guess my question would be how concerned should I be about this? If I should be concerned, what are my options for dealing with it? Should I have it removed or can I seal off somehow? I don't spend a lot of time in the garage, other than getting in out of my car, and dragging my lawn equipment in and out. The cement board seems in relatively good shape, but there are a few spots where it's cracked or a chunk has fallen out. I don't think any of it happened while I've owned the home. My other question would be, if it's in my garage, how likely is it to be in my house. My house was built in the 1940s when this stuff was used widely. I don't think it's on any of the pipes for shielding as most are uncovered as far as I can see. Thanks for any help.

dj1
Re: Asbestos in Garage

Let me suggest you read about this topic on line. So much has been written on this subject, there is no need for us to repeat it.

Just remember that uninterrupted asbestos is not deadly. It becomes dangerous only when it turns into dust.

FredGarvin
Re: Asbestos in Garage

Thanks DJ. I appreciate the reply. Sure, I'd love to get an unbiased opinion on the matter. Do you know of any good articles? When I looked on line, it tended to be it should be removed immediately or it's no big deal, which leaves me a bit confused. I presume when the chunks broke off, that would create some dust? Thanks again.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Asbestos in Garage

Dust means air borne particles. Those are very very small and quite unlikely from a broken off or cracked chunk.

You get silicosis from sand but no one avoids the beach as the sand particles are too large

Use the same advice your mother gave you; Stop Touching It.

FredGarvin
Re: Asbestos in Garage

Thanks HR. Yeah, I don't want to overreact, but I want to be safe too. What happens in the event another chunk falls off. I would presume that would create some dust particles? If anyone knows any good articles this stuff, it would be much appreciated.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Asbestos in Garage

If it bothers you, then you can either remove it (which legally has to be done by an approved Asbestos Abatement contractor) or you cover it up to seal it in place (again you can't do this yourself legally). It is possible that the seller could be made to pay for handling this problem if they did not specifically mention it in writing on the sale of the house- your lawyer will know that answer.

I'm not paranoid about the stuff like the rest of the world seems to be- I'd remove it using usual precautions for the dust. Covering it with sheetrock would keep it in place and is relatively safe. Your biggest problem is going to be that you know it's there which has to be revealed to any potential buyer. "Forgetting" to do that and you're in deep legal doo-doo with a lot of their expenses to cover out of your pocket after the sale (and this can be years and years later). That's why I would remove it but I cannot and am not advising you to do that yourself

Phil

FredGarvin
Re: Asbestos in Garage

Thanks Phil. So in theory, I could ask the seller to remove it if it was not mentioned documents?

I don't want to make a big deal out of this. Life is not a risk free proposition, but if there's something reasonable I can do, I'd consider it. As for the house, I don't foresee moving, though I suppose you never know.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Asbestos in Garage

Sorry for taking so long to revisit this thread. Yes Fred, you might be able to have the seller cover this- but you need to speak with someone in your location to ascertain that as it is covered under State and Local, not Federal, law. There are usually time limits involved but sometimes these are waived for certain hazards. Being that this was visible may also have bearing on the matter so if it were me I'd be sure they understand that I couldn't see the tiny wording on those little stickers until I got close after the purchase.

Maybe you have redress, maybe not. Even if you never sell, your estate will after your demise and they will have to deal with this if you don't so I'd do something about it. Were it mine the problem would disappear quietly but it ain't mine...

Phil

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