If your home was built before the 1980s, there?s a possibility that some asbestos has been used within it (assuming that it hasn?t been renovated since then).
Nearly all homes that were built before 1989 contain various forms of asbestos in old floor tiles, ceiling tiles, flashing, siding, framework insulation, and roof shingles. There are even some cases where newer houses have contained small amounts of asbestos that could prove to be hazardous for the health of those who inhabit it.
With all this talk of asbestos, there are two questions that you may possibly have in mind as a homeowner: ?how can I check my home for asbestos?and what should I do if ever I find it in my home??
As panic-inducing as the term ?asbestos? can be, it is essential to understand that there?s no need to worry because dealing with the material in the safest manner possible is as easy as can be. To better understand how you can properly deal with asbestos (and why you should care about doing so), let?s first go over what makes it so harmful in the first place:
Why you should worry about having asbestos in your home
Asbestos, contrary to popular belief, is only dangerous when you handle it carelessly. The margin for error when handling the material is paper-thin due to the fact that it is brittle in nature and will easily go airborne as small fragments go along with the wind. When accidentally broken or damaged, asbestos fibers fly through the air, traveling through the airways of anyone exposed to it and latching to respiratory organs in the process. Exposure to asbestos dust can lead to an array of severe complications ranging from asbestosis and lung cancer to pleural thickening and asbestos poisoning.
How to check for asbestos in your home
A visual inspection will typically not suffice in detecting asbestos due to the fact that it has a similar appearance to that of any other household construction material. Aside from having an indistinguishable appearance, asbestos can only accurately be detected through laboratory tests due to the fact that it does not have definitive sensory traits (such as smell or touch). The safest way to check for asbestos in your home is to continuously compare any possible presence with a reference image while referring to your home?s building history and other important records.
What should you do if you find asbestos in your home?
Should you suspect your home to contain asbestos, then it is best to cordon off the area and request for the services of a certified professional asbestos expert in order to prevent any errors and threats to your health. Trained asbestos removal experts use several types of technology such as polarized light microscopy (PLM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in order to verify any presence of asbestos. Once asbestos is discovered, a removal professional will either sand, saw, or crumble the material (depending on whether it is friable or not) and properly dispose of it afterwards.
Having asbestos in your home is, undoubtedly, a frightening experience that can cause an understandable amount of panic. However, it is vital to approach the situation with a calm hand and the right knowledge in mind.
If you live in the St. Louis area and are in need of professional asbestos removal, get in touch with ABC Enviroclean right away! We?re happy to help.