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Do you have asbestos in your home?

Asbestos can be a very dangerous material and should be dealt with by an asbestos removal professional if found. It was commonly used in the building of houses pre 1980s. It was used in a variety of fixtures and materials such as ceiling and floor tiles, paint, roof shingles, insulation, pipe cement and flashing. Asbestos was used for many applications, as the fibres are resistant to fire, heat and chemicals as well as not being able to conduct electricity.

Why asbestos is dangerous

It becomes hazardous when it is airborne. This happens when the asbestos becomes damaged, releasing asbestos fibres. For example, if you have asbestos based insulation around pipes and boilers, as the pipe deteriorates, asbestos dust is released. Even simply drilling through a wall that has asbestos based paint can release fibres.  Fibres can be easily transported around a house through air conditioning vents and fans. The damage to people occurs when the fibres are breathed into the lungs where they become trapped and remain for years. This will lead to heavy coughing, shortness of breath and scarring of the lungs down the road. It also causes a number of different serious illnesses and conditions such as lung cancer.

Checking your home for evidence of asbestos

It is not enough to merely visually inspect your home for the presence of asbestos. If you suspect that something contains asbestos, you need to send a sample of the fibres to a lab that is certified in order to conduct analysis. The two types of analysis that are approved for asbestos identification are Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM). While some people will try to obtain samples themselves, it is recommended that you hire an asbestos removal expert in order to take a sample. There is no point risking damage to your health just to save a few bucks. At the end of the day, you need to protect yourself and the other people living you from exposure to any harmful fibres.

How will a professional remove the asbestos?

Once asbestos is found, removal is the only safe and permanent solution. If not done properly, there is a huge risk of extended fibre release. An asbestos removal expert will use a HEPA vacuum and disposable clothing when conducting the removal. It is important that you take an air sample after the removal has been completed in order to ensure that the house is now free from asbestos fibres. Always choose a reputable professional that has the necessary certifications. You can check with your local health department or workers association to find a competent professional.

For more information, contact a local asbestos removal company.