It is not advisable to buy a house with asbestos siding except the price is extremely cheap. If you must buy a house with asbestos siding in this century, you should bear in mind the need to replace the asbestos with other materials, because most insurance companies don’t insure houses with asbestos siding.
With the passing of time comes evolution. Evolution is the condition of changes in various things as time expands. Over time, the way we do things in the world change.
The way we do the same things in the past is different from the way we do them now. Things like cooking, transportation, communication, etc. Change is constant. And this change did not spare the way we build our houses.
Houses in the past used to be built with asbestos siding to resist heat, engage roofing, and do other fittings around the house, but things changed when better and more affordable materials to build the house were discovered, and not just that, it was found that bad and breaking asbestos can cause harm to the health, leading to cancer and other serious diseases.
Still, there are houses built before the beginning of the 21st century that are very much present and even still perfect today. Although old, they are still durable are still being put up for sale. Should you buy a house built with asbestos siding? Let’s find out.
Disadvantages of Asbestos Siding
Asbestos siding was used in the past for its durability, longevity, heat and chemical resistance, how it was able to hold together a wall, or a roof, and even protect against fire, but there are several disadvantages to asbestos siding.
I mean, there has to be, because you would hardly see a homeowner or homebuilder opt for asbestos siding in the face of the numerous options available today.
What are the disadvantages then? And why have people been deterred, or advised against not living under a house with asbestos?
1. Hazardous to the Health
Asbestos siding was discovered to cause lung cancer in people who lived under a house that was built with asbestos siding for a very long time.
It consists of toxic material particles that are meant to enable it to resist heat, giving it a heat-resistance advantage over other building materials.
However, these toxic particles that are invisible to the eyes, over time, mix with the air of the home space, and unsuspecting homeowners or residents inhale this toxic air for a long time, leading to all manner of illnesses.
If inhaled for many years, it can cause irreparable damage to the lungs, such as asbestosis, lung cancer, or even a rare lung disease called mesothelioma that spreads from the lungs down to the heart, and even continues downward to the abdomen, affecting various internal organs of the body.
2. Difficult to Install and Remove
Another disadvantage is that it is very difficult to install, and even more difficult to replace.
Using asbestos will cost you more time and energy than using other materials, and if you plan to change it to another asbestos, or a different material, you have to pay huge amounts to the laborers to help you remove it.
Compared to other options, using asbestos siding is stressful. You can get various other options easier.
Should I Buy a House with Asbestos Siding?
It is not very advisable, or even profitable to buy a house with asbestos siding. True, you have to consider different things, when buying any house at all.
You need to consider the price, the condition, what it will take to insure it, the materials used to build it, and the maintenance over the years.
If you have to buy asbestos siding in this century, you need to bear in mind that you will have to replace the asbestos with other materials, because most insurance companies will not insure a house with asbestos siding.
Therefore, you have to consider the value of the house, and the amount of money you will spend on replacing the asbestos. If the money you will be spending at the end of the day is not worth the house, then you should not buy the house.
Another thing you should also note is the condition of the asbestos siding around or over the house. If the asbestos is in perfect, undamaged condition, then you might not need to replace it at all, because there is a lower risk of it causing harm. Then leaves the issue of insurance.
As earlier said, insurance companies won’t insure a house that has asbestos siding. They will insist that you replace the asbestos with some other recommended material before they can insure your property.
However, for every rule, there is an exception. If you search long and hard, you just might find one that is willing to insure your house if the asbestos siding is in perfect condition.
In the long run, the asbestos will one way or another get damaged and start constituting issues for your health, and you have to replace it. This is why, if you have to buy a house with asbestos siding, be ready to spend more money on replacing the asbestos.
Reasons Why You Should Buy a House with Asbestos Siding
Even in all its woes, there are various reasons why you might consider buying a house with asbestos siding. Here are a few:
1. Asbestos is Heat-Resistant
The chemical that makes up asbestos is very heat resistant, compared to other materials used in place of asbestos. It can hold heat and does not get hot easily. It helps cool the house and makes it a lot more conducive to live in.
2. It is Fire-Resistant
The same chemical that allows it to hold it makes asbestos – thereby the house it is built with – to be automatically fireproof. If you live in a house with asbestos siding, you can be rest assured that it is has a very low risk of burning down.
3. It is Pocket-Friendly
Asbestos siding is not expensive. You can install asbestos at a very affordable rate, unlike other materials used for building.
4. It is Easy to Maintain
You can also clean it easily, without stress, maintaining it in such a way that it lasts for a very long period. This will keep your house very clean as things that are easy to do are done often, such as cleaning the asbestos.
5. It is Resistant to Electricity
With asbestos siding, you can be assured that you or other residents in the house will not be exposed to the risk of getting shocked by electricity.
You can use as many electric appliances as your electric current can carry without any worry about electric shock in a house with asbestos siding.
Reasons Why You Should Not Buy a House with Asbestos Siding
Perhaps you are almost at the point of buying a house with asbestos siding, and you are looking for a reason to stop, well, here are some of the major reasons why you should not consider buying a house with asbestos siding;
1. Danger to Your Health
This is more than enough reason to stop your purchase and not buy a house that has asbestos siding. Loose asbestos emits toxic chemical particles that mix with the air you breathe in your home.
This can cause severe illnesses, and inhaling this toxic air for a long period unsuspectingly can cause terminal illnesses such as cancer of the lungs and other incurable diseases.
Health is wealth, and you should certainly stay away from anything that threatens your health.
2. Troubles with Insurance
Insurance companies will not insure a house with asbestos siding. They will tell you it is better to replace all the asbestos siding and roofs if you want your home to be insured, or you should look elsewhere for a house that has no asbestos siding.
Insurance companies believe that the risk on houses with asbestos is too great to take on and insure. You don’t want to own a house without insuring it. This puts you at very great risk. For this reason, it is better not to buy a house with asbestos siding.
3. Old House with Old Issues
There is every tendency that a house with asbestos siding to be an old home that was built several decades before the twenty-first century. This is because builders don’t use asbestos materials for construction works anymore.
Buying a house with asbestos siding means you would likely be buying a house with a very old structure, and would probably need additional maintenance and renovation to correct many other likely issues that result from old age.
Remember that sometimes, home inspectors may check for asbestos and may ask you to replace it with recommended materials when they find out the building has asbestos.
4. Cost of Replacement
You would likely need to replace the asbestos siding if you want to get rid of all the other issues of finding no insurance and dangers to health, but this will cost you more money, the money you would not have spent if you didn’t buy the house in the first place.
Does Asbestos Siding Affect Resale Value?
Yes, it does. This is because asbestos is dangerous to the health, and also because of the cost and stress it will take to remove and replace the asbestos in the house.
Technically, since buyers will have to spend a lot of money to replace the asbestos, and also risk dangers to health, the resale value of the house will take a hit to accommodate other costs after purchase.
Can You Get a Mortgage if there is Asbestos?
Of course, you can get a mortgage on a house with asbestos. However, this depends on the lender that is giving the mortgage.
For every mortgage loaner, there are different requirements. Some lenders do not give a mortgage if the house has asbestos, some come to inspect the type of asbestos present in the house, and this type depends on whether they will give a mortgage or not, and some lenders will value the house lower because of asbestos.
If you can avoid it, do not buy a house with asbestos siding. If you have to buy such a house, ensure it is at a fair price that considers the amount of money you will spend replacing the asbestos after purchase. Oh yes! You will want to replace the asbestos if you want to get proper insurance for your home and if you cherish your health!