Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, made up of fine, durable fibers resistant to heat, fire and many chemicals. Because of these amazing properties, asbestos was used for many household items for decades prior to the 1980s.
Some products known to contain asbestos include:
- Floor tiles
- Spray-on fireproofing
- Ceiling tiles
- Wallboard joint compound
- Electrical insulation
- Asbestos Cement
- Wall panels
- Asbestos paper and millboard
- Boiler insulation
- Wall and attic insulation
Asbestos is odorless and tasteless. There’s no way to know if material has asbestos in it, except to test it. When asbestos is inhaled or swallowed, the fibers become lodged in the soft lining of the lungs or abdomen. The body can’t easily expel the fibers, leading to many health issues, including cancer.
Another danger of asbestos is that the ill-effects of exposure don’t show up for decades! People exposed to asbestos 40 years ago are just now experiencing lung cancer. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the government started noticing the effects between cancer and asbestos.
If you have a home built before the 1980s, it is very likely that some of the building materials contain asbestos. Asbestos is completely harmless if the building materials are intact; but once you start a remodel and produce dust, any asbestos fibers in the material come out and present a danger to anyone around them.
Once an asbestos-containing material is damaged, asbestos fibers enter the air. It is important to avoid remodeling until a professional inspector confirms there is no danger from asbestos.
Asbestos abatement is the process of safely removing asbestos from your home. The safest way to repair or remove asbestos is to hire an accredited asbestos professional. In most cases, hiring a certified abatement company is required by law.
A certified abatement company like Valley Restoration and Construction will wear protective gear and air-purifying respirator. They will seal off the area and keep asbestos-containing materials wet to help prevent asbestos dust from entering the air while the damaged materials are removed and the area is cleaned.
Check out the Valley Restoration and Construction Facebook page for our latest asbestos abatement project.