Sometimes A Home’s Problem Can Be Staring You Right In The Face


When looking at any Toronto home you definitely have to go with an unjandiced eye.   Now I’m not an home inspector, but in viewing any home with clients one of my key duties is to flag what I can immediately identify as potential issues or deficiencies.

When clients walk into a home they’re trying to visualize themselves whether this space works for them.  They’re processing the various elements which are all visually obvious:  the kitchen, room sizes, appliance upgrades, the home’s mechanics, overall condition, lot size, landscaping, etc.

Recently, I was showing a couple an older home in a great east-end Toronto neighbourhood which is in great demand.  As we toured this house it definitely needed some updating but my clients were willing to accept the challenge.  When we came across this room my clients’ first words were, “Great! A wood burning fireplace”.

Do you see the problem in this picture?

My initial response was somewhat different, “Great! Asbestos floor tiles”.  Today when you say the word asbestos it’s synonymous with the word cancer.  With the size of the tile being 9×9 and considering the age of the home I knew I was correct in my assessment.  My clients then asked me to elaborate, but first they wanted to immediately leave the room and discuss on another level.

So let’s cut to the chase; they wanted to know their options with dealing with the floor tiles.  Again, experience matters so I’ll explained it.

  1. They could leave them as long as the tiles haven’t started to breakdown and become friable then at present there is no issue.  However in time these tiles will breakdown and once the material becomes friable then the potential exists of asbestos becoming airborne.  Yes, you could cover it with carpeting but you would always be cognizant of what’s lies 2cm underneath.
  2. Have it removed. You can have it professionally removed, which means have a hazardous removal company come in an seal off the space and they will ensure that it pulled up without spreading the material airborne.  The room was about 350 sq feet so I would estimate the cost at around $3,000.

The devils is always in the details, so when you are hiring a realtor you want someone who brings all the tools for the job.  No one likes surprises.