Common Mistakes People Make When Renovating Older Homes

Author: GEO Environmental Co., Inc. | | Categories: Asbestos Inspections , Mold Inspection , Radon Inspection

Blog by GEO Environmental Co., Inc.

Often homeowners will do “minor” renovations on their older homes before selling or upgrading them. While a few tweaks to renovations and remodeling can deliver big returns on your old house, certain home renovation mistakes can also lead to the opposite happening.

So, to ensure that the process begins, proceeds, and ends smoothly, homeowners must avoid these mistakes that could prove costly. The experts at Geo Environmental Co., INC. have put together a list of the most common mistakes people make when renovating older homes.

1. Hiring contractors who are unaware of environmental concerns
Some contractors are unconcerned about environmental concerns and often claim, “I’ve been working around that for twenty years, and I’m good.” That may be fine for your contractor, but entrusting your family’s health and well-being to people like them may be risky and costly. As everyone’s immune system is different, avoiding any recognized health threat should be your top concern since it’s so simple to determine and regulate. It would be best if you always tried to find and hire a contractor familiar with environmental dangers such as lead paint and asbestos.

2. Avoiding a pre-renovation inspection
Failing to get a pre-renovation inspection in an older property might place you in an extremely risky and accountable situation. When you hire a company like Geo Environmental Co., INC. to conduct asbestos or lead paint inspection, they will evaluate all the building components that will be disturbed throughout the remodeling scope of work. Most municipalities will require you to do these inspections, or at the very least, they would request an asbestos inspection.

The statute requiring asbestos inspections is stated in NYS-DOL regulations 12 NYCRR Part 56, which applies to any building or structure built on or after January 1st, 1974. However, there are no precise dates associated with OSHA and EPA requirements. The homeowner is ultimately accountable for damages and failing to meet regulatory requirements if a contractor ends up disturbing asbestos material and causes contamination. Contamination in the residence, employee and family exposure, and statutory infractions are all possible issues in this case.

3. Not taking asbestos contamination seriously
If asbestos contamination occurs, a qualified Asbestos Inspector and Project Monitor will conduct a contamination assessment to determine which areas are impacted. To rectify the condition, a cleanup plan would be established and authorized by the NYS-DOL Engineering Department. The cleaning would subsequently be carried out by an asbestos contractor under the observation of the asbestos monitor/consultant. This will result in significant delays, expenditures, and further exposure issues that might have been otherwise avoided easily.

4. Employing an asbestos inspector who produces a convoluted report
The report your asbestos inspector provides should explicitly state what materials were examined. If asbestos materials were discovered, and those locations where asbestos was discovered using drawings or sketches. There should be no doubt about the extent of abatement of the project. We have spent years refining our asbestos and other environmental studies to make them more valuable and understandable.

5. Hiring an inexperienced asbestos inspector
Employing an inexperienced asbestos inspector can result in incorrect inspections by taking an inadequate amount of samples. Regulations specify the number of samples necessary for certain categories of suspicious materials. It’s important to realize that taking fewer samples than necessary is not in your best interests, and while collecting quotes from different firms, compare everything. If the information in the asbestos inspection report is reviewed, you, the homeowner, will be held liable for any inaccuracies and for hiring an incompetent inspector. Therefore, please check to see if they have the necessary expertise, experience, and references to support their claims.

6. Choosing cheaper alternatives
Often, people think of monetary issues. An accurate and comprehensible asbestos inspection report will provide your contractor the confidence to assess the unknown variables, and in turn, you will probably get a better price. If a contractor doubts the report’s accuracy, they may increase the price to account for any unknowns or potential difficulties. Hiring a business enterprise with years of expertise, regulatory knowledge, and a long record of pleased clients will ensure that your asbestos inspection and any other services we may give are conducted safely and efficiently.

To avoid these and other mistakes, reach out to the experts at Geo Environmental Co., INC. We have over thirty years of experience in environmental testing and consulting. Asbestos pre-demolition and pre-renovation inspections, asbestos air sampling and analysis, asbestos project monitoring, mold testing, mold assessments, and work plans, infiltration blower door/duct leakage testing, asbestos project design, lead paint inspections, environmental testing, radon testing, indoor air quality testing.

We serve clients across Yorktown Heights, Hudson Valley, White Plains, Scarsdale, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Poughkeepsie, Mount Kisco, Bedford, Peekskill, Cortlandt, Mahopac, Carmel, Newburgh, Beacon, Fishkill, Nanuet, Goshen, Pleasant Valley, Pawling, Stamford, Greenwich, Yonkers, Port Chester, Brewster, New Rochelle, New Paltz, Hyde Park, Lagrangeville, Beekman, Poughquag, Haverstraw, West Point, Rye, Irvington, Tarrytown, Dobbs Ferry, Harrison, Sleepy Hollow, Pelham, Armonk, Valhalla, Katonah, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers, Lewisboro, New Castle, Eastchester, Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Garrison, Hortontown, Kent Cliffs, Hopewell Junction, Wappingers Falls, Stormville, Marlborough, and the surrounding areas.

For a complete list of our services, please click here. If you have any questions about the asbestos inspection and environmental consulting, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us here.