Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been widely used in construction for numerous years. Although most developed countries have banned its use, asbestos is still used in the US.
With the popularization of do-it-yourself home renovation projects, many homeowners are at risk of exposing themselves to the harmful asbestos fibers that may be hiding in their homes. As this material was widely used until the 1980s, some homes still contain asbestos in walls, tiles, ceilings, piping, and insulation.
Therefore, all homeowners must learn more about asbestos, including identifying it and its adverse health effects.
Where can asbestos be found?
Most materials today don’t contain any asbestos. However, if you’re living in a home built before the 1980s, the construction materials used are likely to contain smaller or larger amounts of asbestos, including:
Boilers, pipes, and furnace ducts were commonly insulated with asbestos blankets or paper tapes
Floor tiles as well as adhesive used for floor tile installation
Decorative techniques and textured paints used for ceilings and walls
Door gaskets in wood stoves, furnaces, and coal stoves
Cement sheets, papers, and millboards used as insulation around wood-burning stoves and furnaces
Cement shingles, roofing, and siding as the main elements of every house
How can asbestos affect health?
Breathing in high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to numerous respiratory and lung issues. However, the health conditions commonly associated with asbestos are:
From chronic breathing difficulties to more serious health problems, asbestos can cause fatal health conditions to you and your family members. Additionally, the first signs of asbestos exposure don’t appear for 20–30 years after the initial exposure.
How to identify asbestos
It’s impossible to determine whether a material contains asbestos just by looking at it because asbestos is mixed in with many other construction materials. However, it’s possible to hire professionals who can take a sample and thoroughly analyze it.
Because asbestos is only harmful when the fibers are released, unlicensed individuals should under no circumstances look for asbestos by themselves. Therefore, avoid sanding, tearing, cutting, sewing, and drilling if you suspect a material contains asbestos. Releasing the harmful particles will cause greater damage than leaving the material as it is.
How to solve an asbestos problem
An asbestos problem should only be handled by professional, licensed, and experienced experts. If the material containing asbestos isn’t damaged, there’s no risk of asbestos having harmful effects.
Nevertheless, damaged asbestos materials should be repaired or removed. Repairing these materials is a cost-effective and time-efficient way of covering the asbestos material and stopping the release of dangerous fibers.
Removing asbestos will be a more time-consuming and expensive option, as it typically involves bigger reconstruction projects. However, you can rest assured your home will contain no asbestos.
Protect yourself today
The professional RidAway asbestos team will cover you with everything you need to inspect your home and remove any asbestos fibers. Schedule an asbestos inspection and removal with RidAway today to stop sharing your living space with this dangerous substance that can cause significant damage to you and your household members.