3 Places Asbestos Could Be Lurking In Your Kitchen
According to HGTV, remodeling a home's kitchen is a sure-fire investment that often recoups more than 100% of the renovation costs, so if you want to flip a house, the kitchen is a great place to start. However, many dangers can be lurking in the kitchens of older homes, like asbestos, and during your renovation, you could put yourself at risk of life-threatening health problems. Here are three places that asbestos could be lurking in your fixer-upper.
Pastel-colored floor tiles used to be popular, but since these colors have now fallen out of favor, you probably want to replace the outdated tiles in your kitchen. Unfortunately, many older floor tiles contain asbestos, so putting in a better-looking floor could be more dangerous than it looks.
Asbestos was added to floor tiles to make them stronger. Asbestos allows vinyl and linoleum floor tiles to last for decades, but when you rip up those tiles to modernize a home, the asbestos fibers are released into the air.
Wallpaper has fallen out of favor in recent years, so if your fixer-upper has wallpaper in the kitchen, you may be considering scraping it off the walls. This may help you appeal to buyers, but surprisingly, it can expose you to asbestos.
Asbestos used to be added to wallpaper to make it more heat resistant, but once people learned that asbestos was a carcinogen, this usage stopped. Wallpaper from the 1980s or earlier should be assumed to contain asbestos, though an inspector can let you know for sure.
Surprisingly, even your countertops could contain asbestos. This may be the case if your countertops are made of linoleum. While linoleum is often thought of as a flooring material, it was also used for countertops in the 1950s due to its strength. If your fixer-upper still has its original countertops, they could be harboring asbestos.
To remove these outdated countertops, you need to break them, and breaking them releases asbestos fibers into the air. Before you break the countertop, you need to find out if it contains asbestos.
If you're flipping a house, make sure to get it inspected for asbestos before you start gutting the kitchen. Without an inspection, you could inadvertently expose yourself to this dangerous carcinogen during your renovation. Asbestos can be hiding in unlikely places like floor tiles, wallpaper, and countertops, so don't risk changing anything in the kitchen until an asbestos inspector has told you it's safe.
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