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Older home, attic area that may have Asbestos in it - Atlantic Foundation

Asbestos-What to Do if You Find It

Posted on October 31, 2023

If you own an older home, you may wonder if it contains asbestos, a mineral fiber used in the past for insulation, fire resistance, and heat protection. It can be harmful to your health if you breathe in its fibers, which can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. However, you don’t need to panic if you have asbestos in your home as you can test yourself with an asbestos kit or hire testing professionals. Here are some steps to deal with it safely and effectively.

Is it Dangerous?

Leave it alone if it’s in good condition. Asbestos is not dangerous unless it’s damaged or disturbed, so if the material in your home is intact and not exposed to wear and tear, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. Avoid touching, cutting, sanding, or drilling around the infected area. A disturbance can release fibers into the air.

Check for Signs of Damage or Deterioration.

If the asbestos material in your home is cracked, torn, frayed, or water-damaged, it may pose a health risk. Look for signs of damage in areas where it may be present, such as steam pipes, boilers, furnace ducts, floor tiles, vinyl sheet flooring, window caulking, roofing material, siding material, and plaster.

Hire a Professional Inspector to Test and Assess the Situation.

 If you have damaged asbestos in your home, do not try to remove or repair it yourself. You need to hire a qualified industrial hygiene firm to inspect the affected area and take samples for analysis, then the inspector will tell you if asbestos is present along with its location, how much damage it has, and the best options for correction or prevention.

Hire a Contractor

Hire a licensed abatement contractor to remove or repair the material. They come equipped with the proper training, equipment, and disposal methods.

Follow Up

Follow up with post-removal or post-repair inspection and clearance testing. After your contractor finishes asbestos removal, have the area inspected by an independent industrial hygiene firm to ensure that no asbestos fibers remain in the air or on the surfaces. The inspector will perform visual examination and clearance testing to verify that the area is safe for re-occupancy.

Don’t Wait

Asbestos in the home can be harmful, but with professional help, the dangers are lessened. Do not ignore or disturb the material in your home. If you have a foundation repair scheduled, hold off until you know the severity and amount in your home. Some foundation repair companies may have resources to refer you to, so speak with your local contractor for recommendations.

 

Sources – -https://www.thisoldhouse.com/home-safety/21014901/remove-asbestos-in-homes
-https://www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/home/asbestos-home

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