Starting any renovation project on your home can be an exciting adventure. However, it could also pose a serious threat to your health if you’re unsure of whether or not there may be asbestos in your home.
Because the primary health risks occur when tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air, a DIY home renovation project can quickly turn into a dangerous situation if you’re not careful. Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle this problem on your own. Here is some important information about asbestos and home renovations and what you can do if you need help detecting and testing for asbestos materials.
Understanding the Risk of Asbestos in the Home
As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and that is certainly true when dealing with materials that could potentially contain asbestos, which can be very hazardous to your health. So before you dig into a home renovation project, you’ll want to assess the likelihood that your house contains asbestos materials so that you can take the necessary precautions.
Some telltale signs that may indicate the presence of asbestos in your home include:
- The structure was built before 1980
- Your home contains old floor tiles, laminate, cement sheet, pipe cement or original roof shingles
- Your older home has never been professionally renovated before
While looking for these signs and types of materials is a good place to start, the only way to know for sure if your home contains asbestos is to have a professional perform an asbestos test on any suspected areas of your home. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that you can do on your own, because asbestos is impossible to detect with the naked eye and you could create a larger risk while searching for asbestos-containing materials than just leaving them alone and calling in a professional.
Treat All Materials Like They Contain Asbestos
If you’ve already started your renovation project and have come across materials that you think could contain asbestos, the best approach is to treat all suspected materials as though they have already tested positive for asbestos. This means that you should discontinue all demolition efforts and leave those materials as undisturbed as possible. This will help to reduce the risk that harmful asbestos particles could be released into the air.
Find an Asbestos Testing Lab
The next step is to find an asbestos testing lab so that you can know for sure if you need to hire a team of professionals to remove it before safely continuing with your renovation project.
In order to test for asbestos, a certified and trained professional will inspect your home for asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), as well as perform an air quality test. Then, the samples that were collected from your home will be sent off to a laboratory for testing. You will then be notified of the results of these tests.
How to Get Rid of Asbestos
At this point, many homeowners often wonder if taking on asbestos removal themselves is an option. Since breathing in the asbestos particles that will be released during the removal process is what makes this substance so dangerous, you should always rely on a reputable asbestos remediation company to do this for you.
Once the ACMs have been removed from your house, an asbestos testing company will need to return to perform what’s called a clearance air test to make sure that there are no longer asbestos particles inside your home. After this final test comes back showing no signs of asbestos, you’ll have the green light to move full speed ahead on your renovations!
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