Asbestos is a building material that was popularly used throughout the 20th century until it was discovered to cause severe harm to anyone who breathes in its fine fibers. To this day, asbestos can be found in many homes that were built before it was stopped being used in construction. If you are considering a home renovation on a house that has never been remodeled, you may want to check for asbestos first. Here’s where asbestos is commonly found in homes and who to call to get it removed.
Houses can have asbestos in some strange areas that you normally don’t come into contact with during your daily routine. Ceilings, walls and floors frequently have asbestos hidden away within them, and asbestos was a popular material for insulation. It can also be found in pipes, water heaters, heating ducts, boilers, window putty and siding.
Former Benefits of Asbestos
Before the hazardous health effects were known, asbestos was popular because of its strength and durability. It made a good material for products that would get worn over time, like shingles, stucco, garage floors and pipes. Asbestos was ideal because of its fire-resistance and resilience to the elements. Using asbestos in these places, while providing good support that lasted longer, created an exposure risk to those nearby.
The Don’ts of Asbestos
If you discover asbestos in your home, don’t fret. As long as the asbestos hasn’t been disturbed, it has little chance of causing harm. That said, there are things you shouldn’t do to prevent it from spreading or getting into the air when waiting for its removal:
- Don’t move or touch the asbestos
- Don’t dust, sweep or vacuum up materials containing asbestos
- Don’t use construction equipment on materials, such as drills or saws
- Don’t use brushes or power strippers on floors
- Don’t walk through an area with asbestos
Any of these actions can release the fine asbestos fibers that cause lung damage and cancer. If you absolutely need to use an area, mop it thoroughly with water first to clean out any asbestos.
Asbestos Inspectors and ContractorsTo determine if you have asbestos, call an inspector who can come look at your house. They know where to look and what to look for, and they can inform you if you need to have anything removed. An asbestos abatement contractor, like from Nielsen Environmental, is trained to securely eliminate the asbestos so that your house is free from risk.