Preventing Asbestos Exposure When Remodeling Your Home

If you’re an avid do-it-yourselfer, remodeling your home on your own can be a fulfilling project, giving you a true sense of accomplishment. To completely enjoy the rewards of doing your own remodeling, it needs to be a project completed with every safety precaution in place. It would never do, after all, to receive a devastating injury or contract a horrible affliction because you chose to do the work yourself.

In the interest of protecting whoever remodels your home, preventing asbestos exposure will be a crucial element. Asbestos can be found in many older homes and commercial buildings. It was generously utilized during construction until the 1970s.

Asbestos in Your Building

Widely used in building materials such as roof tiles, flooring, and insulation, from the 1940s to the 70s, asbestos is a fiber that was put to “good” use in a big way! When it comes to asbestos exposure, there is no safe level, according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, serious illnesses can result from exposure to asbestos.

There’s a good chance that your home contains asbestos-containing materials if it was built prior to 1978. Even in more recent construction, however, asbestos may be found.

Is It Made of Asbestos?

So, how do you know if something has asbestos in it? You can’t tell by looking, generally speaking. Who knows what to look for? Professionals who are accredited and trained in asbestos removal. If you disturb the asbestos by taking your own samples, you could cause it to become airborne. Taking samples can be more dangerous than leaving the material alone when performed incorrectly.

Not sure? Look at it this way. Your home could contain asbestos – and probably does – if it was constructed prior to 1978. If the materials have not been damaged, you may be safe. But you want to be sure.

Follow These Remodeling Rules

To protect yourself against asbestos exposure during your remodeling project, follow these dos and don’ts:

  • Do avoid the construction zone if someone else is doing your project. If it simply cannot be avoided, use a wet mop for cleanup.
  • Don’t remove, level, or sand asbestos flooring. An accredited asbestos professional trained in abatement can remove the floor. Or, the asbestos-containing flooring can have new flooring installed over it.
  • Don’t use brushes or abrasive pads on flooring that contains asbestos. On any flooring that you think may contain asbestos, don’t use a power stripper.
  • In any material that you feel might contain asbestos, don’t drill holes, sand, or scrape.
  • Do use an abatement professional who is accredited in asbestos removal for even minor repairs and removal of materials.
  • Until it can be remediated, do keep activities to a minimum in an area where you feel damaged asbestos-containing material exists. Don’t vacuum, sweep, or dust the debris.
  • Do avoid damaging any building materials that are currently undamaged.

Count on Iris Environmental Laboratories For an Inspection

Are you planning a remodeling project? Is there even the slightest chance that there could be materials within your home that contain asbestos? If you have even the remotest of doubts, schedule an asbestos inspection today, before you get your project rolling.

Another problem that many homes today have is mold. If you’d like to schedule a mold inspection, we do that, too. Regardless of whether you’re worried about mold or asbestos, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us today if you like to schedule an appointment or with any questions you may have.