Asbestos can pose a serious health risk to you and other inhabitants of your home. If the structure was built prior to 1978, you could be at risk of exposure to banned asbestos products that were used in many aspects of home construction prior to 1978. RDS Environmental can provide you with information and certified testing and inspection to help you make the best decisions about renovating for the purpose of remodel and upgrading, or mitigating to clear your home of harmful asbestos products.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral fiber used in building construction for its strength, fire resistance, and insulation properties. Due to increased risks of lung disease, many asbestos products have been banned.
Today, asbestos use is highly regulated and restricted. However, some products are still used in building materials. Common products that contain asbestos include, but are not limited to, pipe insulation, roofing and siding shingles, textured paint patching compounds, vinyl floor tiles, and more.
If your home was built prior to 1978 and you are thinking about updating, be sure to have all materials tested for asbestos content. If your contractor has not tested the materials prior to renovation work, they could be putting your health at risk and they could be charged a heavy fine.
What are the Health Risks associated with asbestos exposure?
If products containing asbestos do not crumble and are not exposed, health risks are considered negligible; however, that changes when the products break down or are sanded and they decompose into microscopically-thin fibers. These fibers are so small and light that they can remain airborne for days after being initially disturbed. When asbestos fibers are airborne, people and pets can breathe these small fibers in, where they will attach to the lining of their lungs and can cause serious diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Asbestos can be found in your flooring, insulation, walls, and siding. With this much possible exposure to asbestos, alterations to a structure built before 1978 may result in harm. It is critical that you get testing and consultation prior to altering any parts of your home.
What techniques are used in testing and mitigating for asbestos?
Materials that contain asbestos often cannot be identified without testing. Most building products containing asbestos are not labeled. The best indicator for knowing whether your home is likely to have materials containing asbestos is the year that the home or office was constructed. Any home built prior to 1978 should be tested for asbestos. When in doubt, treat the material as if it contains asbestos, then have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified professional.
Here are some of the most important times to have your home or office tested for asbestos:
- When an building material you suspect contains asbestos is identified or disturbed.
- Before any renovations on property built before 1978
- Before any demolition work on property built before 1978
- If you live in a house or apartment building built before 1978
- If you are buying, selling or renting a premise built before 1978
How RDS Environmental can help you make the best decisions about asbestos testing and mitigation
- RDS can conduct a site survey to identify asbestos-containing materials
- RDS can provide certified sampling of all potential asbestos-containing materials. RDS uses accredited laboratories to test samples collected by certified RDS inspectors.
- RDS will provide a comprehensive report on laboratory sample findings.
- RDS will determine if there is a health concern and if professional remediation is warranted. In many cases, asbestos containing materials can be left undisturbed and pose no risks to inhabitants. RDS will help provide professional consultation about the most cost effective way to deal with any asbestos containing products in your home or office.