Asbestos Removal: Is there asbestos in my home or office?
Asbestos has been used for more than a century in the building world because it is flame resistant, very long lasting and an excellent insulating material. Many compound materials benefit from asbestos because of its taut fiber form. When materials with asbestos are left alone asbestos can be pretty hard to break down. Using any process to cut, sand or dig into asbestos-containing parts, however, releases dust shards of fiber particles, launching the asbestos into the air. When the particles are breathed in, they can lodge themselves into the organs and air passageways, often causing lung diseases and abnormal, cancerous growths.
Where would I find asbestos in my home?
If your home was built in 1990 or later, it’s less likely to have asbestos components, but this should be checked buy one of the professionals at Hazpro Environmental. Homes built prior to the 1990s are likely do have asbestos in their construction materials, which might include the following:
- insulation: attic and wall insulation in houses built from 1930 through 1950 (and homes with vermiculite insulation up through 1990)
- heat-proofing surrounds: boards and wall and floor treatments around wood-burning stoves, old furnaces, etc
- heat and water pipes, boilers
- floor tiles and ceiling tiles
- roofing and siding: shingles, flashing and sheetrock
- wall and ceiling treatments: thick, decorative or soundproofing coatings that resemble popcorn-like grooves or dried foam cottage cheese
- walls, corners and gaps: joint compounds and patching materials commonly contained asbestos These are just some of the most common areas where asbestos products were used, and unfortunately, checking to see if it’s in your own home isn’t a matter of just eyeing the sources. Asbestos isn’t identifiable by sight alone, and it’s odorless and unlabeled if used before bans were instituted. Only testing at the microscopic level confirms the presence of asbestos, and this should always be left to a trained professional.
- Some homes may also contain vermiculite attic insulation contaminated with asbestos.
Asbestos has been proven to cause mesothelioma as well as Lung cancer and asbestosis, in cases where exposure is significant.