Asbestos Prevention & Green Alternatives

The third most populous city in the United States, Chicago is renowned for its rich and diverse culture, entertainment, commerce, sports and political center. The state of Illinois provides a great environment for active lifestyles and is regarded as one of the top states to call home. Purchasing a home can be filled with excitement and anticipation for homeowners. It can also be a time where additional responsibilities are acquired.

Newly bought homes are often remodeled and repairs are always needed. Having the assistance of an honest real estate agent can make all the difference in the many steps that lead to homeownership. There are many locations throughout the state of Colorado in which citizens have been exposed to asbestos.

Potential Chicago home buyers or those remodeling homes should be aware that homes built before 1980 may still harbor asbestos materials. This is not to make you alarmed because asbestos exposure is easily prevented by taking simple precautions. Many green, healthy options insulation options exist that make the use of asbestos obsolete.

Asbestos in the Home
Typically found in attic insulation, piping, popcorn ceilings, roof shingles and flooring, asbestos was used throughout the 20th century as a form of insulation for piping, roofing and flooring. Asbestos fibers are thin and strong, and when inhaled frequently, an individual can develop mesothelioma, a rare but severe lung ailment caused by asbestos exposure. Although several advancements have been made with mesothelioma treatment, patient prognosis is usually poor. There are a number of factors that can impact mesothelioma survival rate. These factors include latency period, age of diagnosis and cigarette smoking.

If any asbestos is suspected in the home, the best thing to do is leave it un-disturbed until a home inspector can determine the best course of action. Disturbing asbestos in good condition may cause its fibers to be released into the air. Sometimes, the best action is no action. However, if removal is necessary, it must be performed by a licensed abatement contractor who is trained in handling hazardous substances. It is important to meet with health or environmental professionals to properly examine your new property.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency asbestos unit protects citizens of the state and the environment from exposure to asbestos. This organization regulates asbestos during renovation, demolition and disposal.

Chicago Green
In Illinois, construction practices are upgrading methods to suit better lighting, heating, cooling systems and environmentally habitable insulation. Green options such as cotton fiber, cellulose and lcynene should be given consideration as replacements to asbestos. Not only will eco-friendly materials provide a healthy atmosphere, it can significantly reduce energy costs.

Tax breaks are being offered through The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. This package extends energy efficiency tax incentives first enacted in 2005 and even creates some new ones for those who remodel their homes using eco-friendly materials.

This is good news for people looking to remodel their homes. Some of the measures eligible for tax credits include: Replacement windows and skylights which are equal or below a 0.30 U factor, window films certified by the manufacturer that the product meets the requirements of a green insulation system, pigmented metal or asphalt roofs that meet Energy Star requirements and added insulation to walls or any part of a structure that meets the 2009 IECC specifications.

Asbestos in the Home

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