Statistically, asbestos hides in roughly half of all homes. If disturbed, it can be deadly. So, where can you find asbestos in a house? Well, the answer isn’t exactly clean-cut. This dangerous mold can exist in a wealth of areas, and asbestos exposure isn’t readily noticeable.
Asbestos in Homes
Asbestos has been utilized by our industrialized world since the mid-19th century. In 1989, it was banned. Among private homes, however, asbestos-containing materials still exist. While alarming, the asbestos presence isn’t as bad as it seems. It’s dangerous if it’s released into the air, but it can also remain “dormant” throughout a home’s lifetime.
When inhaled, however, asbestos can be incredibly deadly. Asbestos can result in lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. If asbestos is enclosed, left undisturbed and is routinely checked for deterioration, however, it won’t cause any problems.
Where Can You Find Asbestos in a House?
Asbestos can be hard to spot. That said, it’s more likely to exist in specific areas. Asbestos can be found in the following places:
- In older products, like stove-top pads
- House insulation put in between 1930 and 1950
- Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Hot water and steam pipes
Homeowners are urged to be proactive about locating asbestos-containing materials. While they’re not immediately hazardous, they can become hazardous if the asbestos-containing material becomes damaged. Any deteriorating, damaged or friable asbestos which becomes dry can crumble. If it crumbles, it turns into a powder. This powder, when spread through the air, might be inhaled by a home’s residents.
Asbestos “Danger Areas”
The above-mentioned locations might contain asbestos if your home was built before the 1990s. As a homeowner, you should take note of a few “danger areas” which might be susceptible to asbestos release. A person can be exposed to asbestos in several ways. Whether you’re building, renovating, repairing, or prepping a home for sale, you should be careful.
Removing roof shingles or siding is dangerous, and you should consider the potential risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos can be contained within a home’s wall or ceiling, and it can be released if a home’s shingles or siding are lifted. Similarly, ceiling tiles might pose a risk if they’re repaired or removed. Take care when scraping or sanding any flooring which might contain asbestos.
As for the smaller areas, you should watch out for any coatings or plaster. Roofing compounds, paint, sealants, drywall products and putty caulking might contain asbestos. Any home renovation projects which include scraping, cutting, or in-depth removal can damage asbestos-containing materials—releasing powdered asbestos into the air.
Take Care of Storage Areas
We’d like to point out the danger of your home’s storage areas, too. If you’re getting stored items from your basement or attic, you might encounter damaged insulation. Storage areas might not be accessed for years, and both humidity and water can damage these areas. In such cases—you guessed it—asbestos-containing materials might wear down.
Years of deterioration, water exposure, and lack of maintenance can expose asbestos fibers. If you’re moving boxes or items throughout a home, you might make these fibers airborne.
So, what can you do? You can hire a professional if you’re doing any heavy lifting, unpacking, or renovating. Moving companies and repairmen, alike, understand the dangers of asbestos. Asbestos dust shouldn’t be messed with, and it should be handled by a trained professional. If you have questions about your home’s building materials, asbestos or anything in between, contact Zona Restoration immediately. Asbestos can cause serious health problems, and it shouldn’t be handled lightly.