Asbestos, Does It Have To Be Removed?

Mortgage and Lending with George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages NMLS #65149

Asbestos is very common in older homes here in Connecticut, so questions about the impact that the presence of asbestos in a home will have on obtaining financing are not uncommon.  Ever since the health risks that can be caused by asbestos have become know, greater care has been required with asbestos.  Asbestos removal can be very costly, and a formal abatement plan is required.  So when asbestos is present in a house, potential Buyers are concerned not only with possible health issues, but will they acquire additional costs in purchasing the house.  The presents of asbestos always seems to lead to the question "Asbestos, Does It Have To Be Removed?"

The most common areas that asbestos is found in older homes are:

  • Insulation on pipes
  • Covering for Heating Systems
  • Floors
  • Roof shingles
  • Exterior Siding

Oddly enough Conventional Loan Products tend to be very silent on this issue, however FHA does address it.  The FHA Guideline for obtaining financing on a property that the presence of asbestos exists is as follows.

Properties with asbestos roofs or siding are generally not viewed as posing a danger because they are on the exterior of the house.  However, asbestos that is used to insulate interior pipes in the house, heating systems, hot water heaters, or floors that contain asbestos, the asbestos will have to either be removed, or covered if it is damaged or in a deteriorating condition.  

So Asbestos, Does It Have To Be Removed?  The presents of asbestos is not always noticeable.  When The Appraiser performs the appraisal and notices the presents of asbestos, or what appears to be asbestos, the Appraiser should make a note on the appraisal report that there appears to be asbestos and location.  If there is no obvious deterioration of the asbestos such as punctures or other damage, it should be left alone. If there is obvious damage, such as is the case with pipes insulated with asbestos, the Appraiser should require that the pipes be wrapped with heavy plastic or other appropriate material to contain any lose particles from becoming air borne. The appraiser should not require that the asbestos be removed unless it is in such a deteriorated condition that it poses a serious health risk.  If that is the case an asbestos expert will have to be contacted, and the asbestos properly removed.



 Info about the author:

George Souto is a Loan Officer who can assist you with all your FHA, CHFA, and Conventional mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Higganum, Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or

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 Info about the author:

George Souto NMLS# 65149 is a Loan Originator who can assist you with all your #FHA, #CHFA, and #Conventional #mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes #Middletown, #Old Saybrook, #Middlefield, #Durham, #Cromwell, #Portland, #Higganum, #Haddam, #East Haddam, #Moodus, #Chester, #Deep River, and #Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or


Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 04/30/2013 10:05 PM
  2. Joni Bailey 04/30/2013 11:49 PM
  3. Praful Thakkar 05/05/2013 10:13 AM
  4. Simone Bercu 05/05/2013 10:25 AM
Mortgage / Finance
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asbestos removal

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Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

I come across it all the time on the floors (btw, you'll want to correct "linoleum floors" to just be floors or something.  linoleum is a different product and is actually green.  Some vinyl tile tile (VAT) is asbestos whereas VCT is not...and some peel and stick vinyl tiles have asbestos in the adhesive).  Anyway, just say floors or some floors.

For the floors, they are the least fryable.  If they are intact, you can just go on top of them and encapsulate it - either w/ carpet, laminate or other non stick flooring...or pour 1/2" concrete on top.

Apr 30, 2013 08:36 PM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, George.... that's just another reason that I'm happy we focus on new asbestos or lead paint....

Apr 30, 2013 09:34 PM #6
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

In 9 years, I have never had asbestos reported in an appraisal before. Now watch it happen tomorrow. I also didn't know it could be found in linoleum floors.      How old would those floors be? 

Apr 30, 2013 09:40 PM #7
Frank Laisch
Orlando, FL
"The Insurance Guy"

George, great post on Asbestos information. This is one of those really touchy topics and everyone has an option on. I would rather leave it to the professionals

Apr 30, 2013 09:53 PM #8
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I think sometimes just the word "asbestos" much like "mold" automatically send people into panic.  An understanding of these and any real hazard (as opposed to a presence) is critical.

Apr 30, 2013 10:38 PM #9
Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West - Westlake, OH

George, this is an excellent topic for a blog. While we have listed and sold older homes, we have never had an issue with a home inspector nor has an appraiser mentioned asbestos.

Apr 30, 2013 11:15 PM #10
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

George, good question, and had no idea if asbestos is found on the interior for an FHA loan, it would need to be removed.   Will keep that nugget of info for future use!

May 01, 2013 12:20 AM #11
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Joe, I guess for most people it comes down to the cost of removing it, especially if the recommendation is to leave it alone and cover it.  But getting rid of it does eliminate concerns when you go to sell the house.

Scott you are right, and like I commented to Joe, that time would most likely be when you go to sell the property again.

Michael, I would do the same thing.  They are the ones that are going to live in the house so it should be their decision to make.

David, that is the advice that I hear most often also.  Thank you for the link.

Debbie thank you for the suggestion.  Since it came from the Flooring Queen, I made the correction :)

Barbara, yep that is a good headache not to have.

Joni I had my kitchen floor done in the early 80's with linoleum floor (popular back then), and when I went to replace it in the late 90's I was told that they would not remove it because it was asbestos.  So they put a very thin plywood over it and then installed the new floor.  So the linoleum with asbestos was still around some time between the early 80's and 90's.  Debbie Gardner could possible answer that question better. 

Frank and that is what I do.  When asked I give the answer in the blog, and leave it up to them.

Gary that is great advice.

Pat and Steve consider yourselves very lucky, and hope that you never have to deal with it

Joan, I don't know if you left out the word "not" accidentally.  FHA does not require it to be removed, they are OK with it being left alone, or covered it it has been damaged.

May 01, 2013 01:38 AM #12
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

George, I rarely come across asbestos.  I remember the first investment home I bought back in the 70's had an old "octopus" style furnace in the basement that was wrapped in asbestos...well, I tore it all out wearing a painters mask...not that it helped any...hopefully I'm one of the lucky ones that will slip through the cracks.

May 01, 2013 09:25 AM #13
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Nick I hope so because asbestos is nasty stuff when it becomes airborne

May 03, 2013 08:59 AM #14
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

George- I agree with many... just the word "asbestos" or "mold" can cause panic or concern in a buyer.  The thing to do is first call in the professionals then make your decisions. 

May 04, 2013 07:39 AM #15
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

May 04, 2013 11:40 AM #16
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

George, the question I have is why did it take 75 years to regulate it's production after knowing of it's inherent deadly properties?

May 05, 2013 01:42 AM #17
Annette Thor
Connecticut Homes and Commercial Fairfield Cty,CT - Westport, CT
Residential & Commercial Real Estate Broker in CT

Great topic George.  Not many homes in our area that have no asbestos. 

May 05, 2013 01:53 AM #18
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

George, we learn something new every time we read the AR blog - from you and many other members like you who believe in sharing their expertise.

I, like many others, always have not been concerned about asbestos - so this is something additional I know about it! Thanks.

May 05, 2013 10:11 AM #19
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Have someone looking at a house built in 1956. Asbestos and lead based paint were discussed today. Playing quiz the listing agent and home inspector tomorrow. Very timely!

May 05, 2013 10:45 AM #20
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Huntington, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Thanks to Kathy I got to come over and gain some more knowledge about asbestos... like Joe we always have it removed when we flip a property... Less problems down the road... Happy Day...

May 05, 2013 10:04 PM #21
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor
Thanks for timely post about dangers of asbestos, George. Fifty years everyone was raving about benefits of asbestos & lead based paint. Thank goodness for new research. Wonder what other dangers lucky in our homes.
May 09, 2013 11:26 AM #22
1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK


I found this because it appears that an older home has asbestos insulation in the attic and was wondering about the health risks. 

May 12, 2015 09:19 AM #23
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

This is exactly what I was said: if the asbestos material is in good shape and will not be disturbed, the best course of action can be to do nothing.

Sep 29, 2015 04:58 AM #24
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