Tips on How to Identify and Remove Asbestos from Your House

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asbestos sign

 

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. During the 20th century, from 1920 to 1980 was used in the house building material and other products for strength. It also a highly effective heat insulator and fire-resistant. But along with these good qualities come life-threatening hazards by long-term exposure to asbestos.

 

You cannot identify such material through the naked eye, but if you have concerns that asbestos is present in your home, take serious measures to discover it and remove it. Here in this article, we will teach you how to identify and remove asbestos safely.

 

When is Asbestos Dangerous for You?

Until the walls and other places containing asbestos were intact, you were relatively safer, but you must be careful if you plan to renovate or construct your house.

Long-term asbestos exposure also causes asbestosis. Although wheezing, sneezing and coughing are shared among the people who live with asbestos. But the symptoms aren’t apparent for around 20 years until the infected individual knows it’s inside of him – and it’s too late. During this process, the asbestos fibers become free and start floating in the air. These fibers are one of the leading causes of mesothelioma.

If you are not planning to remove it permanently, we say it is better to leave it alone. Because the more you scrap or demolish that place, the more it will spread. So you can either change your location if you can or be serious about eradicating asbestos. 

Where can You Find Asbestos in Your Home?

While it is impossible to identify asbestos just by looking at it, many places in your house may be bearing this hazardous chemical. Let’s see what materials in your home contain asbestos. 

  • Floor tiles
  • Pipes
  • Air conditioning furnace ducts
  • Cement sheet
  • Door gasket
  • Roof
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Textured paint etc.

Many states have banned asbestos entirely, but the US is the only industrialized state permitted to use it in some products. The allowed percentage of asbestos is only 1% of the entire product.

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How to Identify Asbestos?

If you doubt the presence of asbestos in any part of the house, check if there is water leakage or tears for no reason. If you find any damaged area, seal that part and do not let anyone go there. But if you see significant damage, it is necessary to call a professional team for its removal.

If you are a DIYer, collect a sample and send it to the lab for proper identification. Be cautious and use all safety measures after confirmation. If you know what you’re doing, start the removal process immediately, or contact a removal company for better service.

The steps in the sample collection include:

  1. Wear gloves, a mask, and other protective equipment.
  2. Turning off the ac, fan, and heater to control the spread of fibers
  3. Take samples from the damaged parts and do not touch other areas
  4. To avoid the spread of fibers, wet the room with water-based spray.
  5. With some sharp objects, cut a piece of sample.
  6. Place it in a container.
  7. Seal the container tightly so that the particles remain in the container
  8. With a wet cloth, clean the container to remove any particle of asbestos if left.
  9. Send the sample to the laboratory for testing.

To reduce the risk of exposure, you can hire a professional to test for asbestos before starting any demolitions and renovations. And if the test comes positive, then hire a specialist to remove it. Even if you performed the test yourself, we would never suggest you jump into the removal process because too much exposure is not safe for your health. Professionals have the right tools for safety and removal, and they know the technique.

Moreover, when you hire the removal service, have a written contract to dispose of this waste according to the laws. Also, make sure that the contractor has the state license of asbestos removal and repair service. 

You can also check with local agencies if the firm was involved in any laws violation in the past. Most importantly, before paying to the removal team, call a testing specialist to collect samples from the air and test if there are any fibers.

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Do’s And Don’ts Of Asbestos

  • Stay away from the affected area as much as possible.
  • Do not worsen the situation by disrupting the material further
  • Before shifting to a new house, call an inspection team to test for asbestos. This is a precautionary measure.
  • Hire an experienced service for the removal of asbestos.
  • Do not perform testing without proper guidance.
  • Do not clean the affected area unless the removal process is completed.

The Removal Of Asbestos

Most professionals recommend one of the two methods for the removal: Encapsulation or abatement. The choice depends on the condition of the asbestos. If the situation is not out of control, they cover the asbestos with a sealant to prevent it from floating in the air. Most pipes and boiler insulation are repaired this way.

 

Abatement is the complete removal of the asbestos material. Following are the steps for asbestos removal:

  1. Relocate your family for safety.
  2. Wear protective equipment
  3. Seal the whole place with plastic sheets
  4. Remove the furniture from that particular place
  5. Turn off ac, fan, and heater to control the spread of fibers
  6. To avoid the spread of fibers, wet the area with the spray.
  7. With the help of the asbestos removing kit, remove the affected material.
  8. Place all of it in a container.
  9. Seal the container tightly so that the particles remain in the container
  10. With a wet cloth, clean the container to remove any particle of asbestos if left.
  11. If any furniture is contaminated and removing asbestos is impossible, replace them with new ones.
  12. After the complete process of removal and disposal, staff should go through the entire decontamination process. 

Conclusion

Maybe you don’t clearly understand the risks associated with this harmful material to remove it permanently. Still, it is better to conduct proper research and find a solution instead of putting your loved ones’ lives in danger.