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Vancouver Houses and Asbestos for Buyers

Asbestos can be a very scary material.

I recently had some clients who were particularly concerned about Asbestos in homes in Vancouver and I was fortunate enough to have Dave Brighton from meet with us to answer a few questions on the topic.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that was widely and commonly used worldwide in insulating products and other housing materials since the early 1900’s. In the 1970’s & 80’s it became widely known to be a highly toxic product that has resulted in this product being banned for most consumer uses.

How common is Asbestos in Houses and What areas does it show up?

Asbestos is a very common product. It was used in the 1920s right up until the mid-1980s. Its usually found in houses built before the 1980’s around the duct work, piping, and venting of heating systems or often in the form of the insulation in a product called Vermiculite. It can also be a lot of other places such as in flooring tiles, shingles, drywall mud, and ceiling coatings.

A large portion of the houses in Vancouver were built before the 1980’s, so there is a very good chance if you are looking for an older home in Vancouver you will come across or will have to deal with Asbestos.


How do we know if a House has Asbestos or not?

Hire a Home Inspector.

If a Home Inspection turns up Asbestos, what should a Buyer do?

There are asbestos removal companies that can give a quote on how much it will cost to have it safely removed.

If Asbestos is found, when should a Buyer be concerned about asbestos?

According to Dave Brighton Asbestos that is left undisturbed can be quite safe. BUT, if you are thinking about renovating or making changes to a house containing Asbestos, that’s when you need consult with a qualified Asbestos Removal Professional. Based on their findings they may advise the Asbestos be professionally removed.

Your offer on the home should be subject to a home inspection, so if the cost, risk, or comfort level associated with the asbestos in the house is too high for the buyer, the buyer can kill the deal.

Remember – If you are concerned about Asbestos in a property, please consult with a qualified Asbestos Removal professional!

Worksafe BC has a great site on asbestos called Hidden Killer. I have embedded this WorkSafe BC Video for more information on Asbestos for reference:


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