Don’t Let Asbestos Turn Your Dream Home Into an Environmental Nightmare
To inspect or not to inspect for asbestos is the conundrum facing many New Jersey homeowners.
While the state has very stringent asbestos regulations in the books, permitting for renovations vary from town to town as do requirements for asbestos inspections.
Although it’s tempting to take a shortcut and bypass getting asbestos inspections prior to construction – if a permit is not required – the ramifications can be both costly and life threatening.
What started as a dream project for Kari Nugent turned into an environmental nightmare when she discovered during the renovation of her aging farmhouse that the insulation was filled with asbestos.
Prior to about 1980, asbestos could be found incorporated into over 3,000 building materials like floor tiles, roofing and insulation. When left alone, asbestos is fairly benign; but when it’s somehow disturbed – like during construction – the fibers are released into the air and have been found to increase the risk of incurable lung diseases.
After workers knocked down Nugent’s living room wall, dust and debris from the asbestos-laden insulation had made its way into the home’s HVAC system and the homeowner had to evacuate. She quickly discovered that her renovation project, which was going to cost a few thousand dollars, had morphed into a $20,000 remediation job.
Aside from the costly removal of asbestos, homeowners face penalties imposed for federal criminal violation of the Clean Air Act. In fact, last year the Environmental Protection Agency raised the maximum penalty from $37,500 to $93,750.
Asbestos isn’t visible to the naked eye. It’s incorporated into the most basic of construction materials like plaster, flooring and roof shingles. A certified inspector can do the necessary testing to determine whether the toxic substance is lurking in your home prior to any type of construction you are planning.
If you are considering renovating a home built before 1980, call Stock Environmental Consulting to schedule important asbestos testing at (732) 383-5190.
Your family’s health – and severe penalties – are too important to ignore.