Do You Want To Buy An Older Commercial Building But Worry About Lead And Asbestos? What To Know

If you are interested in purchasing a specific commercial property that is decades old and you worry about potential toxins in the building materials, you want a full building inspection before you purchase the building. If the building was constructed and built with materials manufactured before the 1980s, you could run the risk of having materials with lead or asbestos in the space.

Both lead and asbestos exposure can be fatal and can cause numerous other health concerns. Here are a few things you'll want to know and things you'll want to consider before you decide to purchase a building with these potential problems.

Get Lead and Asbestos Testing

Asbestos is often in insulation, adhesive materials like glue and tape, in siding, and more. Lead is commonly found in paint and drywall. Have the entire space tested by the professionals to find out where the building has these problems,and to find out what you'll need to replace or repair to have the problems eliminated. The testing doesn't always come standard with a building inspection but you want to pay the extra cost to find out if these toxins are going to be a potential liability problem and health concern in the future.

Request Estimates for Abatement Options

The lead and asbestos can be abated in some situations. The abatement is a process where they will seal off the damaged areas and problem products so the asbestos fibers or lead toxins can't escape into the air and can't contact the people or materials in the property. This will make the property safe, and if any of the building materials get wet or damaged, you won't have to worry about the toxins from these materials getting loose in the air and inhaled, which can cause serious problems for occupants of the space.

It's always better to be safe than sorry, and you don't want to risk all of your staff, customers and other people that enter the commercial property from getting lead poisoning, asbestosis, mesothelioma and other issues that can arise when you are repeatedly exposed to lead or asbestos. The seller of the property may be willing to pay for all of the abatement if you aren't going to purchase the property because of the problems. This is something you may want to work into your contract or in the purchase price of the property to recuperate the abatement costs. 

Contact companies like IRS Environmental of WA Inc. for more information.


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