Is Asbestos Lurking In Your House?

The presence of asbestos is a legacy left behind by the 20th century. Once thought of as a miracle product that could provide insulation and reduce fire hazards, asbestos has since been identified as a source of microscopic particles that can fly into the air, get lodged in people's lungs, and cause cancer. If you're worried that it might be present in your house, having a residential asbestos testing technician swing by to assess the situation is a good idea.

Where Does Asbestos Lurk?

Asbestos was widely used for much of the previous century in building materials. This means it can appear practically anywhere. The product can be discovered in insulation in both walls and attics, and it also was employed in making shingles. Similarly, blankets designed to protect water pipes, especially in regions that get harsh winters, may contain asbestos. Manufacturers of siding also utilized asbestos to improve both R values and durability. It was even used to protect wiring.

Some folks are surprised to learn that asbestos can also lurk in some types of older vinyl tiles. Another place many people overlook checking for asbestos is in their garages. This occurs because brake dust from older cars also contains asbestos. It was even contained in some paint products.

When Was Asbestos Used?

The time of a building's construction or any renovations will give you a good clue as to whether there's asbestos present. If the structure was built prior to 1980, you should assume asbestos was used in its construction. To be on the safe side, it may be better to assume a date closer to 1990, as older materials may have stayed in circulation. You should assume asbestos was used in any residence, whether it's a single-family home or a multifamily structure.

Renovations Don't Presuppose Mitigation

Foremost, it's wise to remember that not every remodel leads to materials being removed. If someone decided to put new flooring over existing vinyl products that contained asbestos, then it's still there. Walls that were painted with it may have only been painted over, too. This can pose a major health risk when you attempt to renovate your place because the asbestos particles can get jarred loose, sending them into the air.

Do Not Touch

Plain asbestos products, particularly insulation and shielding, have the texture of cotton candy. It is risky to handle asbestos without proper training. Don't touch it if you see it.