Have a Better Understanding of Asbestos

You might know that asbestos is harmful to your respiratory health and can even cause cancer. What you might not have is some information on how asbestos came to be or what you are required to do about it. The following can answer some of your questions:

How Do You Know Whether Your House Has Asbestos?

The first step is finding out when your house was built. Asbestos was used as a building material up to 2003. If your house was constructed before 2004, you might have some ACMs (asbestos-containing materials) in your house. A sure way to know whether or not your house has asbestos is to have an asbestos building inspector visit your house to collect samples and carry out testing.

Can You Carry Out the Inspection on Your Own?

Yes, you can, but you might not be able to perform the testing or carry out the inspection effectively and safely. It is advisable to contact an asbestos building inspector, who is more knowledgeable and can do it safely. What you can do as an individual is look but don't touch. Look for easily identifiable signs of asbestos that don't require you to shake up parts of your house. The reason for this is that there are two states of asbestos: bonded asbestos and friable asbestos.

Friable asbestos is the worst kind because it is in powder form. Normally, when you are dusting something, you can see a small cloud of dust in the air, which you can breathe; the same thing applies to friable asbestos. If you shake it or the wind blows on it as you inspect your house, you can easily breathe it, which can cause respiratory problems. Therefore, if you can't easily access an area, don't force it open or shake it up; let a professional do it.

Bonded asbestos is asbestos that is compact. It cannot float in the air unless it is finely crushed. Though it is less likely to cause harm, you should have it removed before physical or natural elements crush it into fine floatable particles.

What Simple Signs of Asbestos Should You Look For?

Look out for roofing, tiling, walls and piping designs that are from before 2004. They might contain some ACMs. If you don't have the time, knowledge or ability to look out for these signs, contact an asbestos building inspector, who will do a more thorough job. Then contact a bonded asbestos removal or friable asbestos removal professional, who should be able to help you.