Most homeowners have heard of asbestos and know that it’s not really something they want in their homes.
However, before the dangers of asbestos became known, it was a commonly used building material, and lots of older homes were built containing it.
If your home was built earlier than 1980, it’s likely you have asbestos materials forming part of your home’s insulation.
If this is the case, read on to find out how to deal with it.
Where is Asbestos Most Commonly Found?
As mentioned above, asbestos was commonly used in building materials between the 1940s and late 1970s until the dangers of it became widely known.
Surprisingly, it’s still not banned in the United States, although it’s very unlikely it will be used as a building material anymore.
When it was used, it was often used for attic insulation, roof shingles, ceiling tiles, caulking, vinyl tile floors, plaster, as HVAC dust insulation, and in basement pipes and boilers.
Sometimes there is no way to tell whether your home contains asbestos or not. If you’re concerned, it’s best to contact a professional to conduct asbestos testing.
An asbestos contractor will have been properly trained in how to test for it and how to handle it properly.
This is not something you should ever attempt to do yourself.
Can I Leave Asbestos Alone?
If the asbestos is in good condition, you can leave it where it is without risk of harm.
Asbestos is only dangerous when it is disturbed, as this is when the fibers that make up the material are released into the air, meaning you could breathe them in.
If, for example, your roof is in need of replacement or you have noticed some damage to your garage insulation, it is best to deal with this to avoid the asbestos causing trouble.
If everything appears to be in good condition, though, there is no need to rush to have it removed.
What Are My Asbestos Removal Options?
You should never, ever attempt to remove asbestos by yourself.
It has been linked to a number of carcinogenic diseases and simply disturbing it could lead to health problems.
Instead, it is best to contact a professional asbestos removal company.
They will have the right training and tools to remove it safely and ensure your home is safe afterward.
You can use the internet to find a professional asbestos contractor, or you can contact your local health department or EPA office who will be able to recommend someone.
It is not a good idea to remain living in your home while the asbestos removal process takes place, so look into staying with a friend or booking a hotel room for the duration of the process.
Once it has been completed, the professional should test the air for samples of asbestos to ensure it is safe to return to and that no asbestos fibers were released.
Asbestos is not something you want to mess about with, but it also won’t cause any problems unless it is disturbed.
Always make sure you contact a professional rather than attempting to remove it yourself.