Asbestos was once a popular mineral used to strengthen building materials and offer improved heat resistance. Unfortunately, its fibers are also known to cause great harm to the human body once it is inhaled. Risks of developing lung cancer or mesothelioma are greatly increased after experiencing contact with the mineral.
While living in a home with asbestos-based materials isn’t necessarily a reason to hit the road and leave the property behind – a disturbance can cause fibers to release and become inhaled inadvertently. How do you know your family is safe from the dangers of asbestos exposure? A professional home inspection will reveal problem areas that must be remediated urgently.
Where are the Risks of Asbestos Exposure Hiding?
Typically, homes built before 1980 were constructed with at least some asbestos-based building materials. In 1973, the Environmental Protection Agency created the Clean Air Act which banned spray-applied asbestos from fireproofing and insulation purposes. It was 1989 when the group instilled (yet, ultimately failed) the Asbestos Ban and Phase-Out Rule, which aimed to completely banish the mineral from commercial and residential construction efforts.
For older homes built on Lake Hartwell and its surrounding areas, a home inspection is crucial to point out areas inside that may release asbestos fibers during regular use. These are common areas where the mineral is often found.
Floor Tiles – The strength reinforcement created by asbestos made it a popular material in floor tiles in high-traffic areas. Even adhesive to adhere tiles to the floor may emit danger when disturbed.
Gaskets and Seals – Efficient when used to seal doors in furnaces, wood stoves or coal stoves, worn gaskets will release fibers.
Blankets or Tape – Many contractors used asbestos blankets to insulate furnace ducts or boilers.
Joint Compound – Used to patch or join different wall materials, older formulations included dangerous levels of asbestos.
Insulation – Because it is resistant to heat, it was commonly used as insulation.
Never begin a DIY project or renovation before understanding the history of your home’s construction. Tearing down a wall or replacing the floor may sound like an easy way to increase its value, but the dangers of what may be hiding within the materials may cause serious harm to your family.
How to Eliminate an Asbestos Exposure Problem?
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine if a building material contains asbestos simply by examining it. If you’re ever in doubt – leave it alone until an expert has a chance to examine it. Typically, the only true way to identify the mineral is by testing samples but a professional inspector knows to analyze the age of the material and deems it as questionable or a health risk.
After an expert expresses their concern for the remediation of a threat, repairs should be handled urgently and professionally. When searching for a contractor to make the necessary repairs, we urge you to search for a service that is proficient in asbestos removal. If materials are removed incorrectly, disturbed fibers become airborne and create a serious hazard to occupants of the home.
If you’re unsure about who to turn to, ask your professional home inspector for a referral. An industry expert can recommend a contractor who is qualified to complete the repairs. Typically, you should be looking for an abatement service, which is tasked with removing asbestos materials or encapsulating it, so it no longer causes harm to others.
What Should You Expect When Removing Asbestos?
Once an inspector declares your home near Lake Hartwell or its surrounding areas as an asbestos threat, it’s important to understand what to expect during the removal process. Even minor repairs around the dangerous fibers are not recommended for homeowners, buyers or sellers. The job requires special equipment and extensive knowledge to be performed safely. Here is what you can expect.
The Abatement of Asbestos
Depending on the levels of asbestos-containing materials, your contractor may advise occupants to leave the home until containment is complete. Since removing some materials can releases dangerous fibers, it’s likely they will encapsulate a room with thick, plastic sheets and an innovative filtration system. Once the threat is completely contained, the risks to your family are usually resolved.
Removing Contaminated Materials
After the destruction process begins, experts will carefully remove the contaminated materials from your property. They should store the compromised components in sealed disposal containers before taking it from the premise. This is the only way to contain the threat of airborne fibers traveling to other areas of your home.
Cleaning the Site
The last step of eradicating asbestos is thoroughly cleaning the site and eliminating fibers that may have escaped. This process requires specialized vacuums, filtration units, commercial cleaners, and meticulous execution. Once the clean-up is complete, the team should perform an air test to ensure the asbestos removal was completed efficiently and all threats are alleviated.
Let’s Get Started
Whether you’re in the process of buying, selling or maintaining your home, a professional home inspection can reveal areas on your property that require attention. If you’re a buyer, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. A home purchase will likely be the largest investment you make, don’t find yourself struggling with expensive repairs while juggling a mortgage and the additional expenses.
Sellers can speed up the home-selling process by ensuring their home is free from asbestos exposure before going to market. It will give you time to hire a professional to eradicate it and the upgrades often boost the value of your property, leading to more profit after the sale.