Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Asbestos Removal in Your Home

There are still a large number of homes spread across the nation that were built with asbestos-containing products. Thousands upon thousands of these homes are still occupied. If you own a home that was built prior to the early to mid-1980s, there is a chance you’re living with asbestos. This isn’t meant to scare you, but to help understand what you can do to ensure the safety of you and your family.

Asbestos Locations in Homes In the late 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed strict regulations on asbestos use in the U.S. Over the course of the next several years, manufacturers and construction companies began phasing asbestos out of their products, in order to adhere to the EPA’s new rules. Yet, the homes that were built prior to the EPA’s regulations weren’t demolished or even abated for asbestos unless homeowners took it upon themselves to do so. This was, and still remains, a task that many homeowners are unaware of. Some homeowners start renovation and repair products without even considering that there may be asbestos present in their home. In turn, they not only put themselves in danger, but anyone in the vicinity as well. Asbestos fibers are almost weightless, and can easily permeate throughout areas without anyone ever noticing.

 According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the following are the most common areas and products in older homes where asbestos may be present. Many of these areas are frequently worked on by homeowners who’re unaware of the dangers that asbestos can bring: Roofing and siding shingles (made with asbestos cement) Insulation Walls Floor Vinyl floor tiles Hot water pipes Oil furnaces Coal furnaces Shingles and siding Door gaskets Do You Have Asbestos in Your Home?

First of all, if you live in an older home, there’s no reason to panic. Asbestos is only dangerous when it’s disturbed and asbestos fibers become airborne. This generally happens when people start DIY projects on their home or repair and renovation products, without first having their home properly abated. Water leaks and damaged materials in the home can also increase the risk of asbestos exposure, but you should never try to repair them yourself until you’re certain that your house wasn’t built with asbestos materials, or if your house does have asbestos, it’s been properly removed and disposed of by a professional.

Keep in mind that asbestos fibers are tiny, odorless, colorless, and impossible to detect with the human eye. You’ll need to call a licensed professional to check your home thoroughly. If asbestos is found, you’ll need a licensed professional to properly abate the dangerous materials. Asbestos exposure can be seriously dangerous, leading to numerous mesothelioma lawsuits after workers were negligently exposed and ended up developing life-threatening illnesses. Even the smallest amount of asbestos has the potential to cause significant health damage, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Any home project that has the potential of disturbing asbestos is not worth risking your health over. Before you start any home project, make sure you have your home thoroughly checked, and if needed, abated by a professional trained to detect and remove asbestos the safe and legal way.

Thank you to Katherine Keys who provided the above guest blog post. Helping to spread the word about home safety and asbestos.

Canspec Home Publishing - Helping Inspectors Succeed.


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