Asbestos - what you need to know.

What do you need to know about Asbestos? Let’s dive in!


Asbestos can be found in plumbing, wiring, light fixtures, ceilings, insulation walls and more (see below). Homes that were built prior to 1990 may contain asbestos. All forms of asbestos are resistant to heat, fire, chemical, and biological break-down. Asbestos does not dissolve in water or evaporate! These properties mean that asbestos fibers don’t burn, don’t undergo big reactions with most other chemicals, and don’t break down significantly. These properties, along with its tensile strength, sound insulation capability, and its absorption capacity meant that it was deemed extremely useful in a wide range of manufactured products such as building materials, friction products, and heat-resistant fabrics.


Why should we be concerned about it? Because we now know it is dangerous!

Asbestos when it is dry,  can be crumbled, pulverized or powdered. Tiny fibers and clumps of fibers may be released into the air as dust. Inhaling asbestos during its manufacturing or use is the main health concern. The effects from long-term asbestos exposure are well documented, including asbestosis and changes in the lining of the lungs. All forms of asbestos have been shown to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma. When we renovate a home that holds asbestos, we disturb these fibers. They can then be released into the air and put people who live and work on the home at risk including those that are to dispose of old building materials.

In order to ensure that we are safely dealing with asbestos, we should  first have the home tested and then hire an experienced asbestos removal company to remove and dispose of it. After all, anything that actually has the potential to harm or kill you should be handled by a pro right?!

It should be mentioned that there are no significant health risks if the materials containing asbestos in your home or work are left undisturbed, isolated in the attic, tightly bound in the original product, and it is in good condition, or sealed behind walls and floorboards.

Here is a detailed list of the places that asbestos could be found in a home:

  • Heat reflector for wood stoves

  • Flooring such as vinyl tiles and lino as well as flooring adhesives

  • Asbestos cement board siding and undersheeting

  • Outlets and switches

  • Window putty

  • Insulation on electrical wires

  • Stucco

  • Furnace insulation

  • Door and gasket covers

  • Roof felt and shingles

  • Gutters 

  • Acoustic tiles

  • Deck undersheeting

  • Pipe insulation

  • Soffit boards 

  • Downpipes

  • Loose blown-in insulation such as vermiculite

If you have an older home and are planning to renovate, be on the safe side and call a pro to make sure that you are aware of the risks that may be present. If you are purchasing an older home and there is no information regarding asbestos, it would be important to have the home inspected prior to the purchase in order to determine if the home contains asbestos.

Thanks so much for reading the Warmland blog.

From my home to yours,

Jacqueline

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