Asbestos has long been known as a dangerous substance that can cause asbestosis, a chronic condition characterized by breathing problems. This condition becomes progressively worse over time, so as the condition progresses, patients find breathing more and more difficult.
Asbestos was a building material used in homes and commercial buildings for many years, and some older homes still have materials that contain asbestos. If you’re remodeling your home and believe that some of your home’s building material contains asbestos, proceed with caution to protect yourself and other members of your household.
Places In Homes Where Asbestos Is Commonly Found
Most people cannot identify asbestos simply by seeing it. Asbestos may be found in flooring, walls and ceilings. Common places where asbestos is found includes:
- Seams between sheet rock
- Roof shingles
Typically, the only people who can identify asbestos are those who know what to look for and who have expert understanding of old building materials.
When Asbestos Is Dangerous
As a general rule, asbestos is not dangerous as long as it is in good condition. When it is damaged it becomes friable, meaning that small fibers of asbestos may be released into the air and breathed into the lungs.
Asbestos becomes most dangerous when it is moved, cut open, sanded, altered or damaged. Sometimes asbestos can be damaged by household accidents, other times asbestos is damaged by natural wear and tear.
Get Your home Tested
If you are remodeling and believe that some parts of your home may contain asbestos, the first thing you’ll need to do is determine whether or not there actually is asbestos. Have your home tested by an expert.
Proceed With Caution
If it is determined that your home has asbestos, use caution. Remodeling an area that contains asbestos could release the fibers into the air. Even remodeling in the general vicinity of the asbestos could cause damage that could lead to a problem, as even strong vibrations can release fibers from asbestos that has been damaged.
Homeowners who are doing their remodeling as a DIY project should stop work immediately. Professional contractors must bring in help from an expert to ensure that the remodel is conducted safely.
Work With a Professional Remediation Company
Any professional remediation company you hire should be certified in asbestos removal. Ask to see qualifications and licensure before hiring a contractor.
There are multiple ways to handle asbestos found in the home.
- Removal. In the removal process, contractors take out all materials that contain asbestos.
- Covering. Sometimes the material that contains asbestos, if in good condition, can be completely covered so it is not exposed to the air in the home.
- Encapsulation. A sealant can be used to cover the building material. Encapsulation can prevent friable parts from floating away.
All of these methods should be left in the hands of a capable contractor.
Contact RDS For Asbestos Testing
At RDS we conduct asbestos testing in residential homes and commercial buildings. We’re fully insured, certified, and are family owned and operated. We offer safe asbestos training to families and homes across Colorado. If you’re just beginning a home remodeling project and aren’t sure whether or not your home has asbestos, have it tested. Contact us today at 303-444-5253.