Understanding Asbestos by Chris Barron

Posted by mcpherson1, January 18th, 2017 at 3:39 am


Asbestos has been an ongoing concern in the residential housing market for a long while. We see this all the time as clients are looking at the possibility of buying a home they can fix up to save a little on the overall mortgage cost. When listing a property, a REALTOR will ask the seller to complete a Property Disclosure Statement (PDS). A potential buyer will use this statement to glean some information about the property that might not be obvious during a walk through. This includes whether or not the property ever contained any asbestos products. The seller completes this form to the best of their knowledge and is legally responsible for the answers. That being said, how does one really know if a property has ever contained any asbestos products?

I asked this same question to Dave Lantaigne of JMX Environmental Inc. whose company just finished an asbestos remediation at Ballenas Secondary in Parksville. The real answer; its hard to know. However, there are products that are known to have contained asbestos prior to 1990 and Dave sent along a list. The products that I noticed that would be of the biggest concern to home owners are:

  • Floor tiles and associated mastics and grouts
  • Plasters, texture coats and drywall joint compounds
  • Vermiculite insulation

To view the entire list of products that were commonly found to contain asbestos prior to 1990 visit

Because asbestos is mainly hazardous when disturbed, trades people and those doing renovations are at risk for exposure. According to Worksafe BC, asbestos exposure remains the number one killer of workers in our province. As a result, asbestos is regulated as a designated substance and abatement must be performed before any demolition or renovation project can proceed. That’s where Dave and JMX Environmental Inc. comes in. They are licensed to handle the abatement and make sure it is done to very high standards. That way any renovation project can continue as soon as possible without any risk to tradespeople or the home owners.

While the discovery of asbestos in a home isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, it can put some strain on the negotiation. To be able to act in the best interests of their clients, a REALTOR must be aware of the products that may contain asbestos and the costs associated with its abatement. Knowing a person like Dave Lantaigne helps a lot as well.

If you are in need of asbestos abatement, please give Dave a call:

Dave Lantaigne



Chris Barron


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