Sarah’s story – Asbestos and her close call.

A recent client, Sarah, this week bought a flat. It seemed perfect. She was thrilled at the thought that the year-long search had finally resulted in a purchase. Better still, this flat had been renovated. It had been completely painted inside, and a new kitchen had been installed. Sarah had missed out on a flat prior to this one. We had conducted a pre-purchase building inspection on the one she missed out on prior to auction. With this flat, the agent convinced Sarah not to have an inspection prior to purchase, and claimed that it would make more sense to buy it first and then commission the inspection. So she did. Sarah bought the flat, paid the 10% deposit and then called us at Melbourne House Check to conduct the inspection. During the inspection we found that the entire roof of Sarah’s flat was asbestos. Not only was Sarah’s roof asbestos, but also the other 15 flats within the development. Sarah decided to withdraw from the sale.

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Sarah said –
“After talking to a few people I’ve decided to pull out of the contract. I just don’t want to assume this kind of risk in my first property purchase. I wanted to thank you for completing such a detailed inspection, I wouldn’t have known a thing and I know there are many consultants out there who wouldn’t have bothered with looking at everything that was available. I will not hesitate to use and refer your services to others in the future… The search continues, let’s hope I get 3rd time lucky!”

Asbestos was commonly used in residential construction in Melbourne from 1940 to the late 1980’s. Roofing and exterior cladding were the common applications. The featured photos are the asbestos roof of Sarah’s potential flat. It is vital to understand that removal of materials such as this containing asbestos is extremely dangerous and should only be undertaken by a licensed person. It is also important to know that standing on asbestos roofs such as the above is extremely dangerous, as often this product has become brittle and structurally inadequate. If you are considering buying a house or undertaking a renovation that involves any products that may contain asbestos, it is vital that you conduct a building inspection first. Contact us at Melbourne House Check here for more information on our house inspections in Melbourne or call us on 1300 729 352.