A Redlands Mesa couple has found that regulations concerning asbestos, which was used extensively in the construction of older farm houses in Delta County, can cause problems for their real estate investment plans.
The remodeled farmhouse on Redlands Mesa Road was home to the couple when they moved to Delta County.
They lived in the home while building a new house for themselves next door.
Their plans all along had been to donate the older farmhouse to the fire department for practice.
That's when the asbestos surprise appeared. Their fire chief knew that state permits are required for a training burn. That necessitated an asbestos inspection, and that's when the asbestos was found.
The old farmhouse was in good, livable condition. But a $650 inspection revealed asbestos in the sheetrock taping compound, in caulking around windows, and in the flooring adhesive.
The couple was told that it is okay for them to live in the house because the asbestos is considered "non-friable," meaning it doesn't circulate in the air and so isn't considered breathable. But, if they want to have the house demolished or donated to a fire department training fire, they will have to pay a professional $21,000 to remove the materials containing asbestos.
As they understand the regulations, the couple said, they could move the house to another location, at some expense. They could remediate the asbestos themselves if they were still living in the house, but since the house is now vacant, a professional is required do the job, they said.
The couple contacted the DCI about their experience because they want others to be aware that asbestos is present in older residential construction in Delta County. The presence of the asbestos was not disclosed when they bought the house, they said.
When asked about asbestos disclosure, the Delta County Board of Realtors explained, "There is a required form in all transactions, 'Sellers Property Disclosure' form number SPD29-10-11. The entire form is on the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) website.
"It is filled out by the seller, so the information is only as honest as the property owner.
"If there is asbestos in a property, it could be identified during an inspection or appraisal. In homes built prior to 1970. It is something they look for specifically. The site http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/ provides much information on asbestos."
The county health department deals with asbestos issues in older houses and older mobile homes. Ken Nordstrom, environmental health director, said that older siding shingles, interior wall board, "popcorn" acoustic ceiling, plaster texturing, flooring adhesive and carpet backing are all possible sources of asbestos. Older mobile homes can also contain asbestos.
"It's a big problem for the county," Nordstrom said. When asbestos is found, for example in an older mobile home brought to the landfill for disposal, asbestos has to be removed and transported to approved disposal sites in Utah or on the Front Range.blog comments powered by Disqus