Asbestos and
Professional Engineer
Home Inspections

Performing Home Inspections at this time risks spreading COVID-19 and places people at risk. Heimer Engineering will not be performing pre-purchase Home Inspections until it can do so without risk to the public.

Today's messages:  📆
In keeping with Governor Cuomo's announcements, Heimer Engineering℠ has stopped performing home inspections.

We are aware our phone system is not functioning properly. Repair resources are directed to essential services.

Friable suspect asbestos pipe wrap on a New York City building steam heating pipeAsbestos hazards are of concern to many home and building buyers. Home inspections may visually identify some asbestos hazards, but further asbestos inspections and testing are often needed.

Asbestos-containing material became a high profile public concern after federal legislation known as AHERA (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act) was enacted in 1987. AHERA requires that all schools be inspected for asbestos-containing building materials, and that appropriate management plans be developed. As a result, many real estate buyers are now concerned about the risks of asbestos containing building materials.

It is known that asbestos fibers increase the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. If the asbestos-containing material is damaged and friable (meaning it crumbles under hand pressure) then it is advisable to have the asbestos-containing material abated. If the asbestos-containing material is not friable (for example, vinyl asbestos floor tiles or asbestos-shingle siding) or is friable but undamaged, then the EPA currently recommends that you leave the asbestos-containing material alone.

Abatement of asbestos-containing material means that is should be repaired, removed, enclosed, or included in an Operations and Maintenance plan. Repair, removal, or enclosure of asbestos-containing material should only be performed by trained and licensed asbestos abatement contractors. A general contractor's license is not sufficient. Asbestos abatement contractors have to be specifically trained in asbestos handling and disposal procedures.

EPA Facts
About Asbestos

Friable suspect asbestos pipe wrap on a New York City building steam pipeThe EPA includes the following five facts in their book: Managing Asbestos in Place • A Building Owner's Guide to Operations and Maintenance Programs for Asbestos-Containing Materials.

Note that this is an excerpt, and you should read the whole book before drawing conclusions.

  1. Fact one:  Although asbestos is hazardous, the risk of asbestos-related disease depends upon exposure to airborne asbestos. In other words, an individual must breathe asbestos fibers in order to incur any chance of developing an asbestos-related disease. How many fibers a person must breathe to develop disease is uncertain. However, at very low exposure levels, the risk may be negligible or zero.
  2. Fact two:  Based on available data, the average airborne asbestos levels in buildings seem to be very low. Accordingly, the health risk to most building occupants also appears to be very low.
  3. Suspect vinyl asbestos floor tiles found in a basementFact three:  Removal is often not a building owner's best course of action to reduce asbestos exposure. In fact, an improper removal can create a dangerous situation where none previously existed. By their nature, asbestos removals tend to elevate the airborne level of asbestos fibers. Unless safeguards are properly applied, a removal operation can actually increase rather than decrease the risk of asbestos related disease
  4. Fact four:  EPA only requires asbestos removal in order to prevent significant public exposure to airborne asbestos fibers during building demolition or renovation projects.
  5. A suspect asbestos wrapped boiler in a building's basementFact five:  EPA and OSHA recommend a proactive, in-place management program whenever asbestos-containing material is discovered. Management of asbestos in-place means having a program to ensure that the day-to-day management of the building minimizes release of asbestos fibers into the air, and ensures that if asbestos fibers are released, either accidentally or intentionally, proper control and cleanup procedures are implemented.

For information on asbestos-containing building materials, visit the EPA asbestos website or the EPA Asbestos and indoor air quality website.

EPA Asbestos Website

EPA Asbestos and IAQ Website

EPA Vermiculite Webpage

To conclusively identify the material, it is necessary to take samples and send them for laboratory analysis. If you need an in-depth investigation of the asbestos conditions at your site, contact a firm specializing in asbestos investigations.

Pre-purchase inspection standards specifically exclude asbestos inspection, except for pointing out suspect asbestos to a client under certain circumstances. Heimer Engineering's pre-purchase inspections do not include asbestos testing. Heimer Engineering's Professional Engineers advise you of visibly detectable suspect asbestos, just as other Home Inspectors do. Heimer Engineering does not misrepresent this as an asbestos inspection. Asbestos testing should be performed by an experienced and properly licensed and insured Environmental Testing firm with experience in asbestos testing.

Contact Heimer Engineering℠

Performing Home Inspections at this time risks spreading COVID-19 and places people at risk. Heimer Engineering will not be performing pre-purchase Home Inspections until it can do so without risk to the public.

Call Heimer Engineering℠ for a Home InspectionHeimer Engineering℠ has stopped performing home inspections in accordance with Governor Cuomo's order. We cannot provide any information as to when home inspections will resume and cannot provide fee information.

Clients with questions and Attorneys with personal injury questions can email

Heimer Engineering℠ PC BBB Business ReviewHeimer Engineering℠ serves the Greater New York area, including New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island (Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Upstate New York (Rockland County, Putnam County, and Westchester County).

Heimer Engineering℠ respects your privacy. Some home inspection firms share information with insurance, landscaping, home maintenance, moving, cable, mortgage, and other companies. You will not receive phone calls or solicitation emails from third parties as a result of providing Heimer Engineering℠ with personal information. For more information, see Heimer Engineering's℠ Privacy Policy.

Call 911🚑 🚒 🚓 In the event of a life-threatening emergency call 911. Emergency situations need to be handled by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, shut utilities off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.

Standards of Practice
and Code of Ethics

Heimer Engineering's℠ Professional Engineer Home Inspectors substantially adhere to the InterNACHI® Code of Ethics, to Subpart 197-4 of the State of New York Code of Ethics and Regulations for Home Inspectors, the ASHI® Standards of Practice, and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE®) Code of Ethics. In the event of a conflict, the Professional Engineer Home Inspectors use Engineering judgment to decide what standard or Engineering principle takes precedence. All State of New York Licensed Professional Engineers are bound by New York State Education Law Article 145.


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Performing Home Inspections at this time risks spreading COVID-19 and places people at risk. Heimer Engineering will not be performing pre-purchase Home Inspections until it can do so without risk to the public.

Inspections are performed only after the client signs a Pre-Inspection Agreement. Use of this website is governed by our Terms of Use. This website is made available for informational purposes and does not represent a professional opinion of your situation.

Heimer Engineering PC℠ performs home inspections, building inspections, condo inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York. Expert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.

The Heimer Engineering PC℠ website was designed and is maintained by . The contents of this website were written by . This website is not intended to offer Engineering opinions or advice. Sitemaps and indexing information can be found at Page Sitemap, Image Sitemap, Mobile Sitemap, and Video Sitemap.

To protect an individual's privacy, images of people used on this site are either licensed stock images or used with permission. The images of the clients who emailed compliments to Heimer Engineering℠ are not of the actual client.

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©1997-2020 Andrea and Harold Krongelb. All rights reserved. Used under a revocable license by Heimer Engineering PC. All documents and methods used by Heimer Engineering PC are owned by Harold and Andrea Krongelb and are used under a revocable license.

Heimer Engineering℠ PC
PO Box 1078
Commack, New York, USA 11725-0942