When Can Asbestos Be A Problem In The Home?
There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a home, but one of the most dangerous is asbestos. Asbestos can cause a variety of health problems, so it's
important to know when asbestos can be a problem in the home. The first thing to know is that asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once used in
a lot of construction materials. It was prized for its durability and resistance to fire, but we now know that it can be very harmful to our health. Asbestos fibers
can become airborne and be inhaled, and over time this can cause serious health problems like cancer. So how do you know if you have asbestos in your home?
The most common way to find out is to have a professional test for it. Asbestos fibers are very small and can be hidden in a lot of places, so it's important to get
a professional to test for it.
Today, far fewer products in the home contain asbestos. However, frequent or prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres may still bring health risks. This can happen with the release of fibres into the air when asbestos-containing products break down, either through deterioration as they age or when they are cut. People can put themselves at risk — often without realizing it — if they do not take proper precautions when repairs or renovations disturb asbestos containing materials. This can occur in a number of situations:
- Disturbing loose-fill vermiculite insulation which may contain asbestos
- Removing deteriorating roofing shingles and siding containing asbestos, or tampering with roofing felt that contains asbestos
- Ripping away old asbestos insulation from around a hot water tank
- Sanding or scraping vinyl asbestos floor tiles
- Breaking apart acoustical ceilings tiles containing asbestos
- Sanding plaster containing asbestos, or sanding or disturbing acoustical plaster that gives ceilings and walls a soft, textured look
- Sanding or scraping older water-based asbestos coatings such as roofing compounds, spackling, sealants, paint, putty, caulking or drywall
- Sawing, drilling or smoothing rough edges of new or old asbestos materials
Asbestos can be a problem in the home when it becomes damaged and starts to release fibers into the air. If you think you may have a problem with asbestos, it's important to have it tested and removed by a professional.
Some common situations where asbestos may become a problem include:
- Renovation or demolition work that disturbs asbestos-containing materials
- Home repairs or alterations that disturb asbestos-containing materials
- Accidental damage to asbestos-containing materials, such as a plumbing or electrical accident
- The natural aging of asbestos-containing materials If you're not sure whether your home contains asbestos, it's best to have it tested by a professional.