If your home was built before 1980 there is a good chance there was asbestos used somewhere within its construction and components. Because asbestos is a dangerous threat to your health and anyone living in your home, which can cause non-curable and life-threatening mesothelioma, it is important that you understand dealing with asbestos in your home and how to properly deal with it if you discover it. Here are some recommendations to help you handle asbestos in your home and manage its clean up.
Understand the Threat
Asbestos was used in home construction because of its fire-resistant qualities, which made home construction and their components protected from the risk of sparks or fire. For example, lots of home insulation used between 1930 and 1950 contained asbestos. Siding and roofing materials, as well as vinyl flooring can contain asbestos. Paint, wall texture, and patching compounds can also contain asbestos, along with hot water and steam pipes. The existence of asbestos inside your home is not where the problem lies. Many homes that have asbestos within them do not present an active threat because they are sealed off and not exposed to homeowners. However it is in the asbestos-containing product and the product's ability to crumble and release asbestos into the air is when it becomes a health hazard. For example, if you are making repairs to a ceiling in your home and there is asbestos in the drywall mud and the textured paint on the ceiling, particles of asbestos are going to become airborne when you break apart the ceiling materials. These particles can get into your lungs when you breathe, thus creating the problem with asbestos.
Get an Inspection
Any time you suspect an area in your home has asbestos and you plan to disturb the area, whether it is the hot water piping coated in asbestos or the old vinyl flooring that contains asbestos in the adhesive, contact an asbestos professional to test the materials. If you have already disturbed the area and dislodged crumbly materials that may contain asbestos, the best thing to do is spray down the area with water to stop the particles from being airborne and contact an asbestos abatement professional. They can come to your home and inspect the area and manage it safely with abatement or removal to keep your home safe and free from the risk of asbestos and its health threats.
Arrange for Removal
It is never recommended for you to remove asbestos from your home on your own. In fact, in most states this is illegal unless it is on the exterior of your home. And even then it is best to hire a professional who is trained to remove it and protect the area and themselves while the project is completed.