Asbestos 101: What You Need to Know

If you recently invested in an older property, you may have heard about the risks of asbestos. In buildings older than 1980, asbestos was a common material used in construction. It was heat resistant and chemical resistant. It is a group of six silicate materials made of thin fibers that are known to cause mesothelioma and other cancers. If you have a home that was built before 1980, what should you know about asbestos?

How Is Asbestos Hazardous?

Asbestos becomes dangerous when it’s airborne. When the fibers are released, people can breathe them in and it leads to other health issues. Asbestos was used in ceiling tiles, floor tiles, flashing, insulation, siding, shingles and more. When these elements are disturbed or damaged, it can release the fibers into the air.

It is not enough to visually inspect your home for asbestos. Instead, samples have to be sent to a laboratory. Scientists can use polarized light microscopy or transmission electron microscopy to analyze the materials. To obtain samples, you need to hire a certified asbestos contractor to inspect and gather the materials for analysis.

How Can You Get Rid of Asbestos?

Given the hazards that asbestos carries, you may be wondering how to get rid of it if it is there. Is removal the only option? In some cases, there is no other option. The contractor will have to remove all materials with asbestos. This is not the only option in most instances, however. Sometimes, a contractor will be able to isolate and seal off the asbestos so that you will not risk uncovering or damaging it. The fibers can no longer be a risk to those in your home. In order to remove it, contractors have the right equipment to safely do the job. They have special equipment and respirators to keep themselves safe. You should never try to disturb or deal with asbestos on your own.

When it comes to asbestos, it is a dangerous material. It is known to cause mesothelioma and other cancers. These illnesses are extremely dangerous and should be taken seriously. If you have an older home and plan to do any remodeling, you need to make sure that there is no asbestos present. If you disturb insulation, shingles or any other component of your home during the remodel, you could release the fibers. Consult with an asbestos contractor, like from Nielsen Environmental, before you do any renovations.