Benefits Of Checking For Asbestos In Your Older Home

Many people are so eager to renovate their home or perform a quick update like they see on television, or read about online, they seldom take into consideration some severe dangers that may be lurking within their homes. Asbestos is a long fibrous material that is found throughout homes that were built well into the 1980s.

Never Assume The Fool And Say “I Don’t Have Asbestos.”

 

It was not found until the 1980s that the material halted manufacturing because of the connection made between asbestos production or construction worker exposure to the material and

Blue_asbestos_(teased)

something called mesothelioma. It is cancer linked to the inhalation of asbestos fibers.

It turns out that while production was ceased in the early 1980’s, the material was still found in the construction industry until approximately 1990. That means that homes that are as young as 26 years old could have asbestos.

And, unfortunately, asbestos was used in everything from insulation to ceiling tiles, flooring, electrical, plumbing, roofing, and even siding. It could be set in the sheeting of fireplaces, in duct work or even in the joint compound that is found between layers of sheetrock. The extent to which it was used will depend largely on the era of the house and whether the material was still used as widely or not.

Asbestos Contamination Goes Beyond

 

FAC-roof-sheetingEven attic insulation could have asbestos in it. This was in the vermiculite insulation.

If you may have asbestos, you have to take a lot of care in not disrupting the material. The problem is when it goes airborne, from the material it is in, out into the air. From there it becomes dangerous because we breathe it into our lungs.

Even more dangerous is that as the old plumbing, insulation, and sheetrock compound wear away, the asbestos is released into the air. It could be in the drinking water as well because asbestos was often used in the water lines going into and out of an older home. The cement compound gives off asbestos into the drinking water when it is wearing down.

Testing For Asbestos
The key is to know where asbestos may be and to test for it. It is not possible to go by sight with the majority of asbestos-containing materials. For instance, you may have no idea that the insulation has asbestos. It is best to be prepared by having an asbestos testing kit handy and following the directions, including wearing protective masks and wearing goggles.

Asbestos- 480 x 270It requires taking a small sample without agitating the material too much. You do not want to release asbestos into the air accidentally if the insulation has asbestos in it. From your home, the sample needs to be sent out to a lab for an examination of the fibers up close and under specialized microscopes, including a TEM, or transmission electron microscope, or a PLM, or Polarized Light Microscope.

The long and the short of it is that yes, asbestos can be very harmful. If it is left untouched, then it poses the least potential harm to you. The only caveat to this situation is when the material starts to wear away and releases the asbestos into the air. Then, it poses harm.

Also, when asbestos is in the water lines leading into a home, it can also wear away and release into the home’s drinking supply.

Pat yourself on the back for recognizing that you need to check your home for asbestos. Give yourself, even more, credit for taking the time to read about it. Now, get out there and see if you can find a company in your town like Safety Coordination Services Inc. to remove the dangerous material.

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