What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a material that was used in construction prior to 1980. It may be in various home components, including floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, siding, roof shingles and flashing, and pipe cement. While asbestos was most commonly used before the 1980s, it can also be found in newer homes. The best way to find out if there is asbestos in your home is to order an asbestos inspection from a professional.
Why is Asbestos in the Home a Concern?
Asbestos particles are unhealthy to breathe. Asbestos is a deadly carcinogen, so people should reduce their exposure to it. It is linked to diseases like lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other cancers. The health consequences of asbestos are serious, and no level of exposure is safe.
When is Asbestos a Problem?
If a building has components made from asbestos, it usually becomes unsafe during remodeling. When asbestos is disturbed, the fibers become airborne. Asbestos inspections are required for projects that potentially disturb asbestos.
What to Do if You Have Asbestos in the Home?
Asbestos may not be a health risk as long as it is left undisturbed and is not deteriorating. It may be best to leave it as long as there are no remodeling projects in the works. However, if you are remodeling or if an area of your home is damaged, have the materials that contain asbestos carefully removed by a professional.
Another option is sealing or covering the asbestos, which leaves the asbestos in place but prevents the fibers from being released into the air.
If you are planning a renovation project and aren’t sure if your home contains asbestos, contact an asbestos inspector to find out.