Asbestos in Luxury Properties

Much of the time, when a news story concerns asbestos found in a building, it’s dealing with an industrial or government property or an apartment complex. When we see luxury properties, we’re shown how fabulous the rooms and décor look after a renovation.  It’s not often we get a glimpse into the ‘before’ side of the picture when it comes to the haunts of the rich and famous.

The 840 square meter penthouse in the refurbished Toronto Four Seasons Hotel complex made headlines last year when it sold for a cool $28 million, becoming the most expensive condo sale in Canadian history. Even before the most recent set of renovations to the building as a whole, the Four Seasons was a well-known high end haunt of celebrities and other financially fortunate people; one of the hubs for sure fire celebrity sightings during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) each year. Let’s just say it was never a ‘down market’ building.

The renovations had to preserve the historic character of the penthouse while providing many needed upgrades. Among the many renovations to the penthouse you might be surprised at one – asbestos removal from inside the walls.

Asbestos in the Walls?

There are many places we’d typically look for asbestos in an older home (i.e. built before 1970). It may appear inside the interior partition walls as a fire barrier or come in the form of wall sheeting -i.e. as part of a mixture. That type of asbestos containing material is considered safe as long as it’s in tact and you can’t inhale the fibres.

Where you might find asbestos in the walls:

  • Beneath window panels
  • Panel behind electrical equipment
  • Partition walls (especially in an institution or public area like a hotel)
  • As sheeting in what were once called ‘wet rooms’ – toilets, pantries, laundry rooms
  • Asbestos sheeting was once very popular in home renovations and additions

Be Safe:

Whether your home is a semi-detached or a condo in the sky, you need expert advice and an asbestos inspection before you begin to renovate.

Fire resistant and nearly indestructible, asbestos was once considered a ‘miracle’ construction material. It was only after decades of exposure that the first signs of its health effects – including incurable mesothelioma – became evident.

  • The fact of the matter is that if a house was built before 1970, you have to assume that it contains asbestos, and it may appear in a wide variety of places.
  • If you’re planning on buying an older home, an asbestos inspection should be an essential part of your pre-purchase checklist.

Before you buy, call in the experts from GreenStream Environmental Services for an asbestos inspection. If you already own an older home, we offer professional vermiculite and asbestos remediation services to help you contain and then rid yourself of this problem.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414.  You’ll be glad you did