Asbestos was a popular building material in the mid-20th century due to its strength, durability, and resistance to fire and chemicals. However, it was later discovered that asbestos fibers cause serious lung problems when inhaled, including including rare types of lung cancer like mesothelioma and asbestosis. While the use of asbestos has been banned in many countries, it can still be found in older homes and buildings. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 hidden asbestos dangers in your home and how to identify them.
1. Insulation and Vermiculite
Asbestos was commonly used as insulation in attics, walls, and around pipes. One type of insulation that may contain asbestos is vermiculite, a naturally occurring mineral that expands when heated. If your home was built before 1990 and has vermiculite insulation, it may contain asbestos. To identify asbestos-containing vermiculite, look for a gray-brown or silver-gold color and a pebble-like texture. If you suspect your insulation contains asbestos, do not disturb it and contact a professional asbestos abatement company like Abatement Services for testing and removal.
2. Popcorn Ceilings
Popcorn ceilings, also known as acoustic or textured ceilings, were popular from the 1950s to the 1980s and may contain asbestos. To check for asbestos in your popcorn ceiling, wet a small area with water and gently scrape off a sample with a plastic scraper. Place the sample in a sealed plastic bag and send it to a certified asbestos testing laboratory. If asbestos is present, experts recommend having the ceiling professionally removed or encapsulated.
3. Floor Tiles and Adhesives
Vinyl and asphalt floor tiles, as well as the adhesives used to install them, may contain asbestos. Tiles that are 9x9 inches or 12x12 inches and were installed before the 1980s are more likely to contain asbestos. To identify asbestos-containing tiles, look for a black or dark gray mastic adhesive underneath the tiles. If you plan to remove or replace old floor tiles, it is best to have them tested for asbestos and hire a professional abatement company if necessary.
4. Roofing and Siding Materials
Asbestos-containing roofing materials include felt, shingles, and tar paper, while asbestos siding may be found in cement shingles, sheets, and panels. If your home was built before 1990 and has these materials, it is best to have them tested for asbestos before performing any repairs or renovations.
5. Heating and Cooling Systems
Asbestos was commonly used in heating and cooling systems, such as furnace insulation, ductwork, and boiler gaskets. If your home has an older heating or cooling system, it may contain asbestos materials. To identify asbestos in these systems, look for white, gray, or brown insulation materials or gaskets that are brittle or crumbly. If you suspect asbestos, do not attempt to remove or disturb the material yourself and contact a professional abatement company for testing and removal.
In conclusion, it is essential to be aware of the potential hidden asbestos dangers in your home and know how to identify them. If you suspect asbestos in your home, do not attempt to remove or disturb the materials yourself, as this can release dangerous fibers into the air. Instead, contact a professional asbestos abatement company in Idaho Falls like Abatement Services to ensure the safe and proper removal of asbestos from your home.