When you are considering the purchase of a home that was built before 1980 or you live in a home that was built before that date, there is a high chance that some of the materials in the home's construction materials contain asbestos. Asbestos has great fire-retardant properties, which made it seem like a beneficial product at the time, until it was discovered that asbestos causes cancer. Here are some recommendations to help you protect your home and household from asbestos and its related health risks.
Know What to Look For
Because asbestos is used in various types of building materials and products, you can look for it in the same varieties of surfaces and structures in your home. Simply having asbestos in your home's building structure will not put you at risk of exposure and related health problems; the asbestos fibers need to be airborne in order to be a health risk. However, if you are planning to remodel your home, you should be wary of asbestos in your home and be careful if you plan to remove a wall, pull up existing flooring, or replace old insulation.
The types of materials that you can find asbestos fibers within includes products such as fireproof flooring and walls around a wood-burning stove, textured paint and wall compound, covering around hot water and steam pipes in your plumbing, siding, roofing shingles, and in vinyl flooring and its adhesive. So, if you are planning to tear out old materials or sand off surfaces, for example, be sure you get a professional inspection to rule out the possibility that you have asbestos in your home.
Hire an Asbestos Inspection
When you hire an asbestos inspection in your home, they will go through your home and check specific areas, surfaces, and material content to check for the dangerous asbestos fibers. If they discover no asbestos in your home, they can provide you an inspection report certifying that no asbestos was found and that no further action is needed. However, if they do find asbestos, especially if the material has been exposed to cutting or scraping, there is a likelihood that asbestos fibers were released into the air of your home and you will need it to be cleaned up.
Arrange For Clean-Up
Cleaning up asbestos inside your home will include wiping down and vacuuming off affected surfaces with a HEPA filter sufficient to pick up all the fibers. A professional team can also filter your home's air to remove contaminants while they encapsulate affected asbestos-containing surfaces. Encapsulation of a surface will seal it off with a new flooring layer, covering of polyurethane paint, or other similar effective treatment to prevent the asbestos materials from being airborne.
To learn more, get an asbestos inspection.