If you suspect asbestos, learn as much as you can. Don’t put your home at risk. Learn about this dangerous material and how to protect your home with the help of asbestos abatement services.
It is true that there are many homes and buildings with asbestos still in them, a leftover from when it was thought to be a good substance to use. Although it is not used in new homes, or in anything built after the 1970s, there are still a large number of older structures which contain asbestos. It is not banned, but it has been phased out since the 1980s, and it was quite common everywhere after the 1930s, requiring numerous renovations to consult asbestos abatement services.
Asbestos is made up of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are composed of thin, needle-like fibers. It is well known now that breathing asbestos is highly toxic, and that even small amounts of exposure can cause cancer and other diseases. It had its benefits as a building material, however. It was used because it is great for fireproofing and strengthening, and it is extremely resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion. It was also used as an effective insulator, and it was used to strengthen cloth, paper, plastic, and cement, but it is not so great for the human body. The most common way that it gets into the body is through breathing. When asbestos is inhaled, or swallowed, during improper asbestos abatement, those mineral fibers become permanently trapped in the body, and that can lead to scarring, inflammation, and genetic damage, as well as to several kinds of cancer and diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Any amount of asbestos may be present in an older home, and it will require asbestos abatement services to locate and remove safely. Be careful when beginning renovations on your own, as that could disturb nonfriable asbestos that was safely out of the way. Asbestos abatement professionals describe it in two categories — friable asbestos is easily accessible. Examples are popcorn ceiling tiles or spray on insulation that is easy to inhale because it can be crumbled by hand. When it crumbles, the fibers are then released into the air. Nonfriable asbestos is inaccessible until it is released through damage. Examples of the non-crumbling type are floor tiles, fire doors, or siding.
Asbestos abatement services will protect your home by safely locating and removing any asbestos that might be present. These companies are licensed and strictly observe proper procedures for decontamination and disposal according to all local, EPA, OSHA, and national regulations. If you suspect asbestos, don’t try to deal with it yourself. You can’t tell just by looking that it is there.
If something appears to be breaking down, don’t touch it. There is no need to put your community, family, or your belongings at risk. Asbestos abatement services are able to identify it for you. Any building built before the 1970’s could, and likely does, contain asbestos, and the best thing to do is leave it alone!
What happens next?
Take precautions. Before work, or even before bringing in an inspector, leave your home and put items into storage. Then, protect yourself and your home by hiring the best asbestos abatement company that you can find that meets your needs. Doing so requires that you are aware of what those needs are, as costs can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the scope of the problem. Asbestos abatement services begin with an inspection of the area. The inspector will take samples, which will be analyzed in a lab to determine the extent. Once determined, the work begins. Trained crews arrive onsite to establish and protect the worksite. Warning signs must be posted, surfaces and countertops must be covered, and HVAC and electrical systems must be disabled with new ones set up for the work to continue. Openings must be sealed temporarily. The whole process can be very complex!
When choosing a company…
Check that they have proper certifications and qualifications, and that they are equipped and prepared. Protect yourself by hiring the right company for your needs. You can help yourself by learning about the dangers of asbestos, and the reasons for precautions during asbestos abatement.