How to Deal with Asbestos in Your Home

Written by  //  May 16, 2014  //  Home Structure  //  Comments Off on How to Deal with Asbestos in Your Home

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was commonly used for housing insulation from 1930 through the 1950s, as well as other household items and appliances. Its use was banned in 1977. Breathing high levels of asbestos can lead to lung cancer; however, the presence alone of asbestos in your home is typically not harmful. But when asbestos is damaged, the resulting fibers are very dangerous when inhaled. Read on to learn more about what to do if you suspect you have asbestos in your home.

1. Determining Whether Asbestos is Present

Asbestos is not visible to the naked eye. If your home has building materials that were manufactured before 1980, it’s possible that they may contain asbestos. If these materials are in good condition, monitor them regularly to ensure that no cracks, chips, flaking, or other signs of damage are present, but otherwise leave the area alone.

2. Testing Material for Asbestos

If material in your home becomes damaged and you expect that it may contain asbestos, or if you are concerned that the material will be damaged or disturbed by a remodeling project, have it sampled and tested by a professional. He or she will know the proper safety protocol to avoid releasing asbestos fibers into your home during the sampling process.

3. Repairing Asbestos Fibers

If the tested area is found to contain asbestos, the professional you work with can advise you on how to proceed. Asbestos can be repaired with a sealing process that binds the material together so that it’s impossible for fibers to be released. A professional can also place a cover over the contaminated area so that fibers cannot escape.

4. Removing Asbestos-Contaminated Material

In some extreme cases, the asbestos professional you work with may recommend that the material containing asbestos be completely removed from your home as soon as possible. However, a removal recommendation is rare since this greatly raises the risk for fibers to be released into your home.

5. Treat Asbestos Carefully

If you do have material in your home that is suspected to contain asbestos but is undamaged, do your best to keep it intact to avoid contamination. Avoid vacuuming, sanding, or scrubbing the affected area, sawing or drilling holes, or other activities that may damage the material and increase your risk for asbestos exposure.

While the thought of asbestos in your home can be frightening, your family is safe as long as the material that contains the asbestos is not broken or damaged. Always remember to consult a professional who is trained in hazardous materials.

About the Author: Kandace is a freelance writer in Orlando, Florida. She loves to research and write about what she learns. Kandace used information from Environmental Remedies, Inc., a company that specializes in asbestos removal in Sacramento, to write this article.

About the Author

View all posts by

Comments are closed.