Oops! My Home Repair Contractor Contaminated Our House!

Buffalo NY – Whether getting a new furnace installed in a home, repainting the exterior of a house for the upcoming summer, or replacing a tiled floor because your child scuffed it with their scooter; asbestos and lead are usually the last things on your mind. However, these harmful environmental materials can pose a significant threat to your family’s health and your wallet. When an incidental disturbance occurs and asbestos or lead is released into the air, your family is at risk of inhaling and ingesting hazardous materials that can cause lead poisoning, asbestosis, mesothelioma, or lung cancer.  An important thing to keep in mind, is that even if you hire a professional to perform the repairs, renovations, replacement, etc., that does not mean that the professional has the experience or qualifications to handle asbestos and lead. Consulting with an environmental company like EnviroTech can keep an expensive and dangerous disturbance from happening within your home.

Regulations were put into effect in 1974 to restrict lead containing materials from being installed in homes and in 1978 similar regulations were put into effect for asbestos containing mateAsbestos in the your ceiling? rials. If your home was built in or prior to 1978, you are at risk for having asbestos or lead containing materials in your home. However, even with these regulations, there are still instances to this day where materials installed after 1978 have tested positive for asbestos and lead. While it is possible that the materials installed were made prior to the regulations, it is more likely that the new materials had been contaminated because of an incidental disturbance either around the materials before installation or after. Once an incidental disturbance occurs, the asbestos and lead materials are released into the air and can land on any surface in the surrounding area. This transfer can be increased if the airborne particles are extracted by the furnace and deposited throughout the entire home. If you or someone you know recognizes an incidental disturbance of asbestos or lead containing materials in the home, evacuate immediately and call the environmental hazard team at EnviroTech to have an inspector come to the home and assess the level of contamination.

In addition to the health concerns that an incidental disturbance causes, financial concerns also arise. Who pays for the asbestos or lead clean-up in a home if the contractor that caused it does not have enough insurance or any insurance at all? Unfortunately that person is you. If a contractor’s insurance or lack thereof fails to cover the cost, the liability falls on the home owner’s insurance company. Health affects and property damage can leave home owners scared and angry, and many find that the only way that they can recover their losses and cover lingering medical expenses is to pursue litigation against the contractor that caused the incidental disturbance. The litigation process can take months to years to finalize and cause extreme amounts of stress and further financial strain, all without the guarantee of winning your case.Lead paint

If you or anyone you know is concerned that an incidental disturbance has happened in a home, please take the following precautions to keep your family safe:

  • Seal off all rooms that may have been effected by the disturbance by closing all doors and windows and sealing the edges of the doors with duct tape.
  • Immediately shut off air movers and HVAC systems to limit the amount of contamination in the home.
  • Evacuate the property and immediately call your environmental specialist at EnviroTech to have an inspector come to the home and assess the level of hazardous contamination.
  • If told by the inspector it is safe to re-enter the home, DO NOT ENTER THE CONTAMINATED ROOMS until a licensed lead or asbestos abatement contractor has cleaned and cleared the areas.