Detecting Asbestos During Your Home Renovation

We’ve all seen them on TV. Those ads regarding personal injuries resulting from asbestos. The word “mesothelioma” is mentioned in those attorney ads over and over. As annoying and seemingly overdone as those commercials may seem, asbestos is something to be concerned about in particular situations and under precise circumstances. In the United States alone, from asbestos exposure, almost 15,000 people die every year. So, the threat is real.

There is only one assured and guaranteed method of detecting asbestos, and that is through contracting the services of a certified/licensed asbestos inspector or service.

The Risks of Remodeling

How long has your house been around? There were no modern-day regulations in effect if your home is of the older variety. That means that when renovating or remodeling old houses, owners could be at great risk. To avoid major health risks from becoming a reality in your home, asbestos must be identified, precautions taken, and a determination made as to whether or not it needs to be removed before you renovate or remodel.

How Do I Know If I Have Asbestos in My House?

Because you can’t be 100% sure by just looking at it, you will rely on a professional asbestos inspector to make a final determination. That said, however, here are some tips.

Particularly if your home was built between the 1940s and 70s, you can pretty much assume that your house contains asbestos. It was used in any number of products during construction during that time frame. Some of these include the following:

  • Vinyl flooring
  • Textured paints
  • Roof tiles
  • Siding
  • Adhesives
  • Insulation
  • Cement and more

If products and materials containing asbestos are intact and undamaged, there may not be a real problem. However, while you’re working on your home, watch out for the following red flags – particularly if you have an older home:

  • Frayed piping or building insulation
  • Brittle coatings or ceiling tiles
  • Old cement roofing that is corrugated
  • Cracked or discolored floor tiles
  • Shingles that are damaged
  • Siding that’s cracked
  • Drywall that’s crumbling

If you discover any of these, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an asbestos problem. These are simply signs to watch for. A final determination should be made by a qualified asbestos inspection professional.

Proper Gear for Renovations

Whether or not you think asbestos exposure may be a problem, while you are renovating or remodeling your home, there are some important safety recommendations that are considered basic. They are as follows:

  • Don’t track debris through the house.
  • Wear protective clothing (i.e. overalls, gloves, boots with stiff, hard soles (possibly even steel toed), hat or headscarf, etc.
  • Wear goggles.
  • Use an asbestos respirator mask.

Don’t Renovate Without an Inspection by Iris Environmental Laboratories!

Before you begin any renovation project, particularly if you have an older home, schedule an asbestos inspection from Iris Environmental Laboratories. This is the only way to make sure that no damaged materials containing asbestos are present in your home and that the health of your family is not threatened by asbestos. This isn’t something to take lightly, nor is it an assumption that can be taken for granted.

Additionally, you may discover a mold problem while doing your renovation. Mold can sometimes grow within walls before it becomes apparent in a room. This is particularly applicable if plumbing within the wall is leaking. Should you need a professional mold inspection, Iris Environmental Laboratories has you covered there as well.

Contact us today if you’d like to schedule an inspection, or if you have any questions regarding our services.