Looking at a property with asbestos

2 Replies

Hello Everyone,

I am looking to make my first purchase soon, and have a showing lined-up on Thursday for a 4-unit building locally in Cincinnati.  Numbers look really good.

One of the pictures of the basement shows (likely) asbestos duct wrapping on all of the HVAC ducts.

The property is listed as SOLD AS IS.  Assuming that there are no other major issues with the house, I am thinking about what my options may be for the asbestos.  This is obviously before I have even seen the house, much less placed an offer and ordered an inspection.  But thinking ahead to how I might deal with this:

1. If the asbestos is in good condition, leaving it the way it is.  My only concern is that if it starts to become friable one day and I am unaware, could my tenants hold me liable for any health concerns?

2. Even though the house is sold as is, negotiate the price knowing that I will have to take care of the asbestos after purchasing.

If option number 2 is where I land, getting a full abatement/removal would be $$ thousands.  I know that you can wrap asbestos ducts.  Even with that, having a professional abatement company do that is still not cheap (I had a few small spots less than 3" each wrapped in my current house and it was $450, and this property's entire duct system contains asbestos).  Would it be sufficient to just get modern duct wrap insulation (I think it looks like foil) and wrap that over the asbestos myself?  

Looking for more experienced opinions on this. 


Asbestos left alone and not damaged is ok to be left in place.

I recommend you get a permit if required to fix replace the ducting.

The build code in california do allow you to leave asbestos ducting.

Hire a license hvac guy and have him check it out. If he say the ducting is in good shape you should be find because you did your due diligences.

Keep all reports and permits for tour record. Most rental do not know or ever aware of lead or asbestos in the house.

Check if your city require you to disclose this before renting.

I had similar situation, I called a asbestos abatement company for estimate, I'd ask to do a  house inspection to have this figured out in advance. You should be able to get access to the area for the estimate to be done, so see if you can get in advance of your offer. It would be at your cost but might be worth the bucks. 

Then you have opportunity to show to the seller if you choose to adjust your offer.

My seller said he wasn't going to do any testing or permit me to do testing without a written offer. So I walked, Property had asbestos tile on ceiling and the abatement company said the glue used to secure it most likely has asbestos in that also.. probably a 2000 dollar removal fee, but then I'd have to refinish the ceilings, house had some other points lacking I found on 2nd walk thru.

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