The presence of asbestos at home can pose a serious health hazard for you and the rest of the household. This is particularly concerning when you have children at home. The good news is almost all new homes nowadays are free from asbestos due to strict regulations on home construction materials.
Identifying asbestos at home through visual inspection is not possible unless materials have labels that indicate its presence. However, there are ways you can take to protect your family from asbestos exposure at home.
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Asbestos is a health hazard that can cause serious illnesses such as mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer, and asbestosis, where there is scarring of the lungs. Several studies have found people who were exposed to asbestos for a long time developed these illnesses after 20 years or more. The asbestos fibers stay in the lung for a long time and eventually cause symptoms; asbestos easily becomes airborne once the material’s integrity is compromised.
The first thing you need to do if you suspect the presence of asbestos is not to touch or disturb the material.
If you are planning to remodel, reconstruct or notice any damaged part of your home, contact a professional and accredited asbestos inspection company to do a thorough inspection of your home. They will perform sample taking and test the materials in a lab to confirm the result.
Any damaged materials can release fibers that can easily be inhaled by anyone who is in the vicinity. Vibration, hitting, or poor handling triggers the release the airborne asbestos. Only allow a trained asbestos removal company to handle the asbestos-containing materials.
It is important not to leave the materials open and unattended. Seal the area and do not let anyone come near the area before proper intervention is made. Do not allow any activities around the area and always maintain extra precautions to avoid contamination. Do not vacuum or sweep the area no matter how dirty it may be.
Most construction materials nowadays are safe from asbestos. However, it is possible for old homes that are built in the 70s or 80s. Here are some materials that can contain asbestos:
– Vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives for floor tiles
– Millboard, cement sheet, and paper for insulation
– Pipes, boiler, and furnace ducts
– Door gaskets
– Soundproofing materials
– Joint compounds and patch
– Brake pads, clutch, and gaskets
After the professional conducted the material sampling and the result came in positive, you have two ways to manage it; repair or remove. Both options should be performed by a licensed asbestos removal team.
There are two ways to repair asbestos material. First is sealing; a sealant is used to bind or coat the material to prevent airborne fibers. This method can be utilized for insulation boiler, pipes, and furnace. The second type of repair is encapsulating, requiring covering around the asbestos material to avoid any release of the harmful material.
Repairing can be major or minor but is a temporary fix. However, in the long run, removal of the materials may be required, and this will cost more because it will take additional effort to remove the repair materials.
Removal is costly but is the best option if you wish to remove the exposure of asbestos. It is also the most dangerous since the removal process will release the asbestos fibre into the air. For remodeling, removal is necessary. This method is often the last resort when sealing, and encapsulation is no longer a viable option. This process is complicated, and the intervention of a professional asbestos removal company is needed because it is hazardous and requires specific tools and protective equipment.
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An asbestos disposal team is a group of trained personnel well equipped in handling the complexity and dealing with the hazardous process. They know how to contain a specific type of asbestos and avoid any further contamination.
Aside from removal, some asbestos disposal companies offer inspection, taking a sample, and sending it to a certified lab for testing. They can give you their assessment of the building and suggest steps you can take to remove your home’s risk.
Professional disposal teams undergo hours of training and learnings to earn their licenses and certifications. All of the rigorous standards are meant to protect both the homeowners and professionals from being exposed to possible health hazards when in contact with asbestos.
Make sure to do a thorough consultation before agreeing to any procedures because asbestos contamination is not easy to handle and can expose everyone and cause lifelong disease. The company should be accredited and has certifications from local offices.
Your family can be protected from asbestos with the help of a professional asbestos team. They can either repair or remove materials from your homes that contain dangerous asbestos. Since it is considered a health hazard for everyone, it is important that you get a certified and licensed asbestos disposal company.