How do you check the presence of asbestos in your home? And if you do find that your home has asbestos, what are you going to do about it? If you are planning to buy a house, the first thing that you should check for is asbestos. The reason is that asbestos is very dangerous and it can lead to a number of disease conditions including cancer. Most of the homes that were constructed before the year 1980 used asbestos to make ceiling tiles, floor tiles, flashing, roof shingles, siding and insulation (around pipes, ducts, fireplaces, sheeting).
How Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos in itself is toxic but it when it gets disturbed and released into the air it becomes a major health hazard. If there is asbestos in your home and you accidentally disturb or damage it, fibres will be released into the air compromising the health of those within the vicinity. For example, when asbestos insulation used in furnaces and pipes become damaged or start to deteriorate it will release asbestos in the form of dust. Another example is a blown ceiling that contains asbestos. Fibres will be released in the air when the ceilings are patched or drilled. When your ceiling is already in very poor condition air movement from fans may help disseminate asbestos dust. Underground transite pipes that are used to carry water to homes can also contain asbestos. When these pipes deteriorate, the asbestos will be released inside the pipes along with the drinking water.
How Do You Check Your Home For Asbestos?
Unfortunately, an ocular inspection of your home is not enough to know if asbestos is present. The ideal way to do it is to hire an asbestos removal company so they can take samples of areas in your home suspected to have asbestos. These people are trained to handle and transport the sample to a certified laboratory to analyze and verify the presence of asbestos. Two of the approved methods used for analysis include TEM or Transmission Electron Microscopy or PLM or Polarized Light Microscopy. The National Institute for Standards and Technology has a list of labs that are allowed to perform PLM and TEM analysis. Even though the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency offers a detailed guide on how to gather samples that might possibly contain asbestos this is not recommended. To ensure your safety and preserve your health, the American Lung Association suggests that you hire a qualified and accredited asbestos removal professional to take the samples. This will minimise your exposure to harmful asbestos.
What To Do If There Is Asbestos In Your Home?
The techniques and methods used to deal with asbestos will depend on the location of the asbestos and the condition of the material whether it is non-friable or friable. When it’s non-friable then asbestos won’t be released into the air unless the material is cut or sanded but if it’s friable extra caution must be exercised because it can easily become airborne. If the material that contains asbestos is in good condition, it won’t be dangerous during that time but if damage or deterioration is evident, you should call asbestos experts to deal with it.
Asbestos needs to be removed if not right away, eventually to safeguard your health and also for your peace of mind. When it comes to dealing with asbestos, your best move is to leave this job to professional asbestos removal experts.