What to Do if You Have Asbestos at Home?
Quick Guide To Asbestos For Homeowners
As a dangerous health hazard, asbestos is no longer used since the scientific discovery of its cancer-causing fibers.
If left alone, asbestos itself does not pose any problems. But of course, it won’t be long until you need to work it out. Since the materials in your home eventually deteriorates, it will need an update sooner or later.
Now, if your home happens to be built between the 1940s and 1970s, the chances of having asbestos on it are higher. And if you accidentally discover asbestos in your home and at worst, you disturb it, you should be quick to respond to avoid aggravating the problem. A professional asbestos removal company based in Brisbane has shared some tips when you happen to find an ACM within your property.
Asbestos in Insulation
Asbestos is popular for its strength and thermal resistance properties. Therefore, finding asbestos in your home most likely means it is in the insulation.
At some point, you will need to update your insulation, hence you need to remove the old one. When dealing with asbestos this way, it is best to inform your insulation contractor and commence proper removal.
Insulation contractors will need to prep up the space first to reduce the chances of spreading the fibers further. And of course, they also need to protect themselves from exposure. In the process, you also have to leave your home for quite some time and only return when no fibers are left in the air.
More Signs of Asbestos
It is not easy to tell upfront if your home has asbestos unless you discover or disturb it. But, aside from being an old structure, these manifestations may tell you something:
- Check the pipes in your home that does not have insulation. If you see some remnants of old insulation that are gray or white, that could be asbestos.
- The flooring tiles that are originally installed in your home are in 9-inch sizes. That is most likely tiles that use asbestos
Now, if ever you disturb asbestos accidentally, you have to vacate the premise as soon as you can. Although studies show that the cancerous manifestations of asbestos in our bodies will only happen in 10 to 50 years after exposure, you can never be sure if some fibers are already lingering inside your home for quite some time. Much like a ticking time bomb that can explode your health anytime.
As a precautionary measure, remove your clothes and seal them in a plastic bag. Wash them separately to remove the fibers on the fabric.
Then, wash your hair and body thoroughly to get rid of the fibers that are sticking to your skin.
Vacate the premise and inform your local state authorities so they can refer your case to the proper department.
You can also contact a professional insulation contractor so they can check. They will assess the space by getting swabs of different areas and test for asbestos.
After testing positive for asbestos, your insulation contractor will have to remove the remaining fibers thoroughly and clean the area. The process may take some time, or at worst, may require you to abandon the place completely.
Testing for asbestos roughly costs $100 to $750, which depends on how many areas in your home you want to test. Though it might be an additional cost on your end, this is significantly less than when your health is at stake.
Professional Asbestos Treatment
Your insulation contractor might also refer you to a more credible professional to do the work more safely.
There are certified professionals who can do asbestos treatment using the right methods and equipment like industry-grade HEPA vacuums. They also need to work with respirators, just like what in those sci-fi movies are donning when they deal with toxic infestations in the post-apocalyptic world.
You see, the presence of asbestos in your home is a serious issue. And you need to act on it as soon as possible. This is to avoid getting ill yourself or spreading the hazard more.
It is best to seek professional help and not deal with the problem yourself. And even if you have not made any discoveries yet but have been living in an old home built around the 1940s and 1970s, the EPA recommends testing your home for asbestos. After all, prevention remains better than cure.