Many people view asbestos as a problem of the past – a material we eliminated from the modern world once we realized how dangerous that it is.
Unfortunately, you may be concerned to know that some homes still contain asbestos to this day. If you are exposed to asbestos in your home, it is essential that you address the problem as soon as possible for the health of you and your family.
What is Asbestos?
Most everyone knows that asbestos is a harmful material, but it may be helpful to start by defining what asbestos is, how it was used, and the problems that it can cause.
Asbestos is a set of silicate materials, each comprised of long, fibrous crystals that can further be broken down into microscopic “fibril”. Asbestos is both heat and fire resistant, which made it a popular material for insulating homes. Asbestos was also used as an additive to certain paints and patching compounds as well as an additive ceiling tiles, floor tiles, shingles, and siding.
The problem with asbestos is that tiny fibers from the material are released into the air through abrasion and other processes. When inhaled, these fibers cause scaring in the lungs, which can lead to significant lung damage and a range of health issues.
What Homes Contain Asbestos?
Asbestos was first used in insulating homes in the 1930s and was a common form of insulation up until 1950. It wasn’t until 1977 that asbestos was removed from all products.
This means that if your home was built anywhere between 1930 to 1977, it may contain asbestos. Unfortunately, it is not possible to determine whether or not the building materials in your home contain asbestos using only a visual inspection. If you suspect that a building material such as your insulation or your ceiling tiles might contain asbestos, you’ll have to collect a sample of the material and send it to a certified laboratory for analysis.
The Environmental Protection Agency does outline the procedures for collecting and sending off these samples, but the American Lung Association has recommended that you hire a certified asbestos professional to collect these samples instead in order to minimize the risk of asbestos exposure. Keep in mind that asbestos is a very dangerous material, and careful precautions must be taken when working with asbestos to ensure that no fibers are released into the air and inhaled.
Should I be Worried About Asbestos in My Home?
Working with asbestos is far more dangerous than living in a home that contains asbestos, since the dangerous fibers from asbestos are typically only released into the air when the material is disturbed. However, the dangers of living in a home that contains asbestos arise when the home begins to break down and needs repairs. For example, if the asbestos-containing ceiling tiles in your home are damaged and you try to patch them, you risk releasing asbestos into the air. Asbestos insulation can also break down over time and begin to release asbestos dust on its own.
All told, living in a home that contains asbestos is never a good idea, and, if your home contains asbestos, it is recommended that you remove it as soon as possible.
How to Remove Asbestos in Your Home
There are instructions for removing asbestos from your home yourself in a way that is as safe as possible. To do so, you’ll need to use protective clothing such as a disposable coveralls, gloves, goggles, and – most importantly – a dust mask or respirator. You’ll have to avoid using power tools, avoid dropping asbestos sheets, and avoid drilling or cutting into asbestos-containing products. You’ll also need to gently wet down asbestos sheets without using too much water pressure, seal off the area that you are working in, cover the floor with plastic sheeting, and much more.
Suffice it to say that removing asbestos safely is a very complicated process. In fact, it’s recommended that you take an asbestos removal training course before you even attempt to remove asbestos yourself.
For most people, the DIY asbestos removal process is simply too complex and risky to undertake. Thankfully, you don’t have to remove asbestos on your own – certified asbestos removal experts can help you remove all asbestos-containing products and materials from your home in a way that is completely safe for you and your family.
At Abry Brothers, we are certified asbestos removal professionals dedicated to eliminating this dangerous material from homes in a way that is quick, efficient, and, most importantly, safe. If you are concerned that your home might contain asbestos, we can help you collect samples from the suspicious materials and send them off to a certified lab where they can be tested. Should the lab find that your home does contain asbestos, we’ll be able to remove all of the asbestos-containing materials from your home in a way that leaves your home completely safe and in perfect condition.
If you are concerned that your home might contain asbestos and would like to learn more about having it removed, we invite you to contact us today.