Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that used to be common in building materials due to fire resistance. Unfortunately, inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to cancer and other respiratory illnesses. According to the Mesothelioma Center, approximately one-quarter of all homeowners are unsure whether their homes contain asbestos.
Some homes are more likely to contain asbestos than others. For example, owners of homes built after 1980 should not have to worry about asbestos. However, people with older homes may have a problem.
What are pre-War homes, and what counties in Georgia have the most of them?
The phrase “Pre-War homes” refers to homes that predate 1939, the war in question being World War II. Due to the architectural embellishments and undefinable “charm,” pre-War homes are popular among homebuyers but are also more likely to contain asbestos and other hazardous materials.
According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, Chatham County is number 26 of the 30 counties in Georgia with the most pre-War homes. Nearly 10% of the homes in Chatham County predate 1939. The top counties for pre-War homes on the list include the following:
- Chattahoochee County
- Glascock County
- Randolph County
- Terrell County
- Upson County
It is not only pre-War homes that may pose a problem. It was in the late 1970s that scientists first concluded that asbestos was dangerous to the lungs, after which its use in construction was all but discontinued.
Where are homeowners most likely to find asbestos?
It was once common to include asbestos as an ingredient in various building materials to protect homes against fire. The owner looking for asbestos in an older home may find it in the roofing or siding, in textured paint on walls or ceilings, in floor tiles or in the structures of a fireplace.
Owners of older homes can have inspections to check for asbestos, but many homeowners do not know that this is available or whether testing of their own homes has ever taken place.