Asbestos was used in home construction until the 1980′s thanks in large part to its fire resistant qualities and ability to insulate. The mineral-based material has since been banned, however, because it also poses a host of health problems. If you are planning to renovate your home built before the 1980′s, there is a strong chance that you’ll encounter some asbestos. When in doubt, contact an asbestos removal company to help you get rid of the material, because they will best know how to handle it.
WHEN IS IT DANGEROUS?
Asbestos left in the walls and ceiling of your home poses very little risk to your health. In general, it’s recommended that if you detect asbestos in your home you simply do nothing with it whenever possible. However, when you set about renovating your home you can’t avoid the reality that the material will be disturbed. This is the point at which it becomes a potential health problem and you need to take precautions such as hiring a professional company to remove the asbestos.
WHY IS IT DANGEROUS?
Asbestos releases fine particles when you rip it out of your walls or ceiling, and these particles can stay in the air for hours. The also settle on surrounding surfaces, such as flooring and counter tops where they might stay for even longer. When asbestos is breathed in by you and your family, it can lead to lung and respiratory issues that include lung cancer. Because of the serious risks associated with removing asbestos, the EPA recommends that homeowners not try to tackle removal on their own.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE
An asbestos removal company will cover the surfaces in your home to protect them against the settling asbestos dust. They will also wear respirator masks to keep their own lungs safe while they handle the asbestos. If you walk through your home during the construction period of renovations, you should also wear a respirator mask to protect yourself. Asbestos contractors should also take special care not to track the dust to and from the entrance of your home where it can settle. A professional service will also take the dangerous materials out of your home immediately and dispose of them properly.
While not all states require that an asbestos remover be accredited, you can usually find a company in your area with official training and accreditation in asbestos removal. Ask to see the professional’s credentials before work begins, so you can have peace of mind that a qualified company is handling the removal of this toxic material.