As spring approaches, many homeowners consider undertaking spring projects or renovations. It is important to know the materials in your home prior to your renovations. At times a renovation may expose dangerous substances the average homeowner is unaware of.
One prevalent substance most homeowners are not aware of is asbestos. Asbestos was commonly used in many household items like flooring, ceiling tiles, siding, roof shingles, insulation, duct wrap and pipe insulation. If your home was built before 1980 you may find or uncover asbestos in some of the before mentioned items.
According to the EPA, not all asbestos containing products are dangerous. Products with binders, such as cement board and roof shingles, encapsulate or immobilize the fibers. Products that are friable, such as pipe insulation and duct wrap are more easily crumbled which creates airborne dust. It is when these friable fibers are released into the air that asbestos becomes dangerous. Exposure to asbestos can cause serious respiratory and health hazards.
If the asbestos containing material is in good condition, leave it alone. If the asbestos containing material is becoming damaged or friable (airborne), or will be removed during renovation, contact an asbestos professional for consultation.
Removal or handling of asbestos is not a DIY project. Always hire a licensed and insured professional.