What to do if your home has asbestos
Asbestos is a common problem often found in older homes and can be a health hazard to residents who spend time in affected buildings. Homes built earlier than 1980 need to be tested to determine if asbestos is present in the attic insulation, floor tiles, cement, pipes, or walls. This is why it is essential to have a building inspection completed when purchasing a property. If tests show asbestos is present in the building, there are a few important steps to take to remedy the issue and create a safer setting.
Signs You Might Have Asbestos
There are a few signs to look for if your home is at least 30 years old, and you assume asbestos may be lurking in some of the building materials. Residents in the home may experience some health issues and side effects that include shortness of breath, a loss of appetite, and even weight loss. Children and adults may also develop chest tightness or pain and a persistent, dry cough that continues for several months. Over time, you may notice your fingernails or toenails become wider and rounder than usual and develop an unusual shape. There may also be weakness and pain in the lower part of the body that develops over time.
How is Asbestos Removed?
Although regulations have made it easier to reduce the risk of asbestos, many homes have it present. A professional company should handle asbestos removal because it’s incredibly harmful and requires professional training and experience to handle the materials. Because there’s no safe level of asbestos exposure, it’s best to leave it to professionals who have the right equipment and protective gear to avoid contact with the toxic chemical.
Safe asbestos removal includes encapsulation or abatement, depending on the severity of the condition. If encapsulation occurs, a professional company will apply a sealant that prevents any of the fibers from floating in the air. If asbestos fibers float in the air, they can easily be breathed in when spending time in the environment. Some of the materials may need removal entirely if the damage is extensive.
It’s essential to start the process by turning off the HVAC system to limit and prevent asbestos fibers’ circulation. Use plastic sheeting to seal off the area where you’re working. Wet clean-up tools will also be effective in cleaning up the workspace. You can also use vacuums with HEPA filters to make it a more efficient clean-up process. Use airtight containers to discard all extracted materials from the building.
Once you remove the materials that contain asbestos, professionals will transport everything to a landfill that accepts the items. Each state and region differs in its laws and protocols for proper disposal. Professionals can recycle asbestos by heating the materials, which makes the fibers turn into inert silicate glass. Avoid discarding the materials illegally, which can lead to jail time and fines.
Why You Should Leave it to Professionals
Protecting your health is one of the main reasons to hire a professional company to perform safe asbestos removal. The qualified professionals will perform asbestos testing, which adds to the asbestos removal cost. They’ll also know the right plan of action to take after reviewing the environment and determining what areas need attention.
Hiring a professional can help you to avoid mistakes throughout the process, which can be costly to remedy. There may also be certain spots that you miss, which can continue to put your family’s health at risk if asbestos is still present in some areas. Look for a company that has a license with the state and specific certifications. They should also be capable of providing you with a laboratory report for air sampling results. A professional company can also perform the work quicker than if you attempt to remove the materials yourself. Their level of experience and expertise can make it a more efficient process to ensure you can return to the property sooner.
Knowing the proper steps to take if your home has asbestos can offer peace of mind and protect your family’s health. You can improve the building’s quality and even increase its value by removing the asbestos with a professional company’s help.