If you live in a home built prior to 1970, there is a good chance that asbestos was used in some of the building products during the construction of your home. Even some home built after 1970 may have some asbestos products in the home. Floor tiles, insulation (batt insulation, wire insulation, duct or water pipe insulation), popcorn ceilings, roofing tiles, exterior siding and even some appliances may have some type of asbestos in them. If you suspect a material contains asbestos, you can hire an asbestos consultant to survey and take samples of the materials or you could save yourself a few hundred dollars and order an Asbestos Test Kit. The consultant surveys your home, using a systematic approach to identify all suspected materials. They will take samples of the suspected asbestos and have it tested in a lab to identify whether or not asbestos is present. The consultant can also advise you on whether or not it needs to be removed. In some cases, as long as the asbestos is not disturbed, it is ok to leave in the house. But, if you are doing any kind of remodeling or renovating your home, then it is likely that the asbestos will be disturbed and an asbestos abatement company will need to be called to safely remove the the hazardous material. Licensed asbestos abatement contractors use techniques that are unavailable to homeowners, so the asbestos is handled safely. They also perform air monitoring to see if the air in your home meets acceptable standards during and at the end of the project.
If you are buying or selling a house that may contain asbestos, make sure the house has been inspected for asbestos. Many home inspectors will not check for asbestos products. Do not attempt to handle the asbestos with your bare hands. This stuff is dangerous, so I recommend calling a professional.” Danny Garcia, owner of Rhino Design Build in San Antonio, Texas
What is Asbestos
Asbestos is a term used to describe several types of naturally-occurring fibrous minerals found in many parts of the world. There are several types of asbestos fibers, all of which are lightweight, fire-resistant and not easily destroyed by natural processes. Because of these characteristics, asbestos was regularly used in construction building materials (flooring, roof shingles, popcorn ceilings), thermal insulation (used to wrap plumbing lines and heating ducts is houses and commercial buildings), and even brake pads in cars until about 1979. Asbestos becomes dangerous when it is broken or crushed. When disturbed, these fibers are released into the air and easily inhaled. Once inhaled, these fibers become lodged in the lungs and even certain organs in the body. Over time, these fibers can cause a variety of terminal diseases.