Mike's Blog


Asbestos in the Home: Healthy Home Tips & Green Alternatives for Homeowners

Asbestos in the HomeHealthy Home Tips & Green Alternatives for Homeowners

The home buying process is an exciting time, but one that may bring additional responsibilities into your life. Many homes may need renovations or inspections, especially in areas that are susceptible to natural disasters. Having the assistance of an experienced and honest real estate agent will make this process smooth and stress free.

Some older homes may still contain obsolete building materials. Citizens of this great state are striving to move to a green lifestyle, advocating environmentally sustainable methods to be used throughout the state. Building or remodeling your homes with eco-friendly materials can lower utility and water bills, higher real estate value, purer air quality, reduced waste sent to landfills and conservation of natural resources.

Asbestos + Healthy Tips

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was used in construction applications for the greater part of the 20th century. Often appearing as insulation, piping, roofing and flooring, homes and buildings could still contain asbestos materials if they were built prior to 1980.  

If you locate any suspected asbestos in the home, most experts suggest leaving it un-disturbed until a home inspector can examine your property, take evaluations and determine the safest course of action. Sometimes the best action is no action at all. Disturbing asbestos in good condition may cause its fibers to be released into the air. The removal of asbestos must be undertaken by a professional abatement contractor who is trained in handling dangerous materials.

Exposure to this material can lead to the development of mesothelioma, a lung ailment associated with asbestos exposure. Though a cure does not exist, mesothelioma treatment options such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery may be available to patients to battle the disease. Mesothelioma compensation has become tough to predict for victims and their families because diagnosis can take 20-50 years. For this reason, many people refer to it as a silent killer.

Removal of asbestos in public facilities, workplaces and homes should be performed by licensed abatement contractors as long as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) are not violated. They must wear protective equipment such as masks and gloves to avoid any exposure. The materials should be removed in as large pieces as possible and places in disposable bags. 

Green Building Benefits

Each and every human being would like clean air to breathe and crisp water to drink. It takes a lot of effort and political advocacy to achieve this on a macro level. The implementation of eco-construction, green energy solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world. Many locations throughout Virginia are swiftly changing their construction practices to suit the environment and the health of human beings.

There are many green, eco-friendly materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually. These include the use of cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Cotton fiber is quickly becoming a favorite for home builders and renovators. Made from recycled batted material, it is also treated to be fireproof.  Research has demonstrated that the use of eco-friendly insulation alternatives can reduce annual energy costs by 25 percent.

Implementing green methods of building can have positive environmental, health and economic benefits. These include: Conservation of natural resources, enhancement of air quality, energy sustainability, increase property value, improve quality of life, improvement of pulmonary/cardiac health and reduction of waste.

Mike Hogan

Associate Broker

RE/MAX Commonwealth





Comment balloon 8 commentsMike Hogan • January 18 2010 01:29PM


Inb our area we still have older homes with asbestos shingles. They really do not pose a problem unless they break. But still we have to be aware of them

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) over 9 years ago

Charlie- We see the same thing here. In fact it's a great insulator. If its in good shape- dont mess with it. Many renovators here simply install vinyl siding over it to encapsualte it,nane

Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Hello Mike,

Thank you for the excellent post on asbestos.  Good information & advice to pass on.  Thanks for sharing.



Posted by Chris Minion (O'Brien Realty) over 9 years ago

Thanks for sharing this important information for home owners. Best wishes for an outstanding year.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 9 years ago

Hi Mike found your very informative post via Chris M.'s re-blog. Well written post Mike! Hopefully most people know how dangerous this building material is.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch, Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal (Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio) over 9 years ago

Thanks guys- really the point here is to get this information out to as many people as possible. Thanks for the reads, the comments and the re-BLOG.

Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Mike, This is one of the best post that I have read on asbestos.  True it is not a danger as long as left alone.  For years I installed 4X8 sheets of this wonderful material as a fire wall between the grage and main part of the homes being placed under the drywall.  It did prevent some major damage to at least two home because of fire in garages.  However one owner as me one day what in the world I did to the wall behind his kitchen cabinets as it turned out he had tried to set the house on fire but the wall between the kitchen and the garage would not burn.

Posted by Don Eichler (Eichler Properties) over 9 years ago

Don- Thats a funny story- but not hard to believe. It's a shame the stuff is so bad for us- it really had a lot of great uses in fire prevention and insulation. Thanks for your comments...

Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago