Guest Post from Asbestos123
Older homes often contain asbestos that can be disturbed during renovations. One of the top reasons why asbestos removal is so important is that this toxic substance is extremely damaging to your health.
You should never attempt to remove asbestos-containing materials yourself, particularly if the contaminated space is extended and the materials are brittle or friable. A certified asbestos abatement company should be hired for this purpose, as its employees are well-trained and qualified to conduct complex removal operations.
A Few Basic Concepts About Asbestos-Containing Materials in Your House
From the 1930s until the 1970s, asbestos was included in building materials because of its durability and high resistance to fire. Despite stricter regulations regarding the use of asbestos having been enforced in the 1980s in the U.S., exposure still represents a serious issue nowadays, since many older homes still contain asbestos.
Part of what makes asbestos so difficult to detect is the fact that it was used in so many different products – at the height of its use, asbestos was used in over 3,000 building products.
Common sources of asbestos in old homes:
– ceiling tiles and roof shingles – asbestos becomes a safety hazard when it’s made airborne, and ceiling fans may move asbestos dust around without your knowledge. If your ceiling becomes increasingly brittle as it ages, asbestos fibers can come loose and contaminate the air in your home.
– pipes – asbestos dust can also become airborne when old asbestos insulation around pipes and boilers begins to break down. Transite pipes, which were used extensively in water distribution systems during the mid-1900s, contain asbestos cement. Deteriorated water pipes made of asbestos cement may release asbestos fibers into your drinking water.
– floor tiles – asbestos floor tiles were extremely popular from 1920 to the 1960s, and you can even find them in homes built as recently as the 1980s. If you suspect you might have asbestos floor tiles in your home, consult a trained and accredited asbestos professional before replacing them.
– walls – Many older homes were constructed with fire-resistant drywall sheets, which, when drilled or demolished, can release asbestos fibers into your home.
So, Why Is Asbestos Removal Important?
Asbestos harms your health – once lodged in the lung tissue, asbestos fibers can cause several serious diseases, including lung cancer, bronchial cancer, asbestosis, pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening, COPD, and pleural effusion.
Children are more vulnerable to asbestos than adults – it can take 20 to 50 years after exposure for asbestos-related disease to develop. It therefore follows that the younger someone is exposed, the higher the risk may be, simply because of the time factor involved. Additionally, it has been suggested that, as a child’s lungs are still developing, he/she may be more vulnerable to developing asbestos-related diseases than adults. Consequently, if you have children, removing asbestos from your house is doubly important.
Building damage has occurred requiring restoration – In some cases, asbestos-containing materials may be repaired or isolated, in other cases, they must be removed. But this begs the question: How do you know if you need asbestos removal? The most suitable person to answer whether the asbestos materials in your home need to be removed is a licensed asbestos contractor.
If you suspect asbestos is present in one or multiple products in your home, it is highly important to not disturb the item in question in any way, as friction often leads to fibers being released into the air, especially when materials are brittle or loosely-bound. It is strongly recommended to opt for the professional services of an asbestos abatement company whose well-trained employees will efficiently remove the carcinogenic minerals from your home.
About the author:
Asbestos123 is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of asbestos exposure. In this regard, we helped over 2 million visitors identify and safely remove asbestos from their homes. For more information, please visit our page.