Summer is upon us and renovation season is underway. Did you know that as a homeowner you are responsible to ensure the safety of anyone that is on your property or in your house? Did you know that this includes contractors that you have hired? A lot of people are not aware that Work Safe B.C. has the ability to fine home owners who fail to properly protect workers. Most home owner policies do not include coverages for workers. It is very important to ask your renovation company if they have General Liability coverage for their workers and Errors and Omissions coverage for the work they are doing and also to know the limits they are covered for. If they are doing a $200,000 renovation and only carry $100,000 coverage, this is not enough.
If you are renovating a home that is pre 1990, there is a good chance that there is asbestos in the building products (for more information on Asbestos Containing Materials please read my post Asbestos- What’s the Problem. Not all contractors are concerned about the risk of asbestos exposure and will downplay the risks to you, your family, your neighbors and their workers because they are more concerned about making money and know that asbestos related diseases take several years to develop.
And although it is true that asbestos removal and remediation can be expensive it doesn’t outweigh the cost of losing one’s health or that of a loved one. The first priority should be asbestos testing because only if you are sure that the product contains or doesn’t contain asbestos can you be confident of the risk to your health. Asbestos does not always have to be removed from a home, it can be encapsulated with a special product or simply covered over. The important thing is that the asbestos fibres do not become air borne due to the asbestos being disturbed.
Asbestos testing is not expensive and the turn-around time from the labs can be less than 24 hours so the project needn’t be burdened with extra costs or unnecessary delays. However, bear in mind that Work Safe B.C. inspectors can halt work should they suspect that asbestos is present, which can burden the project with extra costs (fines) and delays.
Please also be aware that the results of any environmental testing (molds, water, oil tank etc.) including asbestos testing should be attached to your disclosure statements when the house is put up for sale. Negative results are a positive for home value so I always recommend including ALL test results whether they are bad or good. And beware, the failure to properly disclose any of these results leaves you open to a potential lawsuit.
Stonegate Home Inspections offers ASBESTOS Testing among other services. Please feel free to contact us and request a free quote if you require any of our environmental services (mold sampling, asbestos testing, air quality testing) or require any of our inspection services (home inspection, commercial inspection, WETT inspection, maintenance inspection or fire and safety inspection).