411homerepair.com

Home Asbestos Exposure: A Modern Menace or Just a Threat of the Past

by Guest on Jul 16, 2015

Most people believe that asbestos is a thing of the past, but that’s not true. It’s used in many consumer products, from brake pads to reinforced concrete to everyday consumer items. Here’s what it means to you and what you can do about it.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that separates into strong, thin, fibers that are not visible to the naked eye. It became a commonly-used building material in the mid-1970s due to its strength, fire resistance and corrosion resistance. It’s also an excellent insulator.

It’s usually added to other materials to add strength to the base material, like concrete. It may be added to asphalt, vinyl materials in roof shingles, piping, siding, wallboard, flooring tiles, and joint compounds. It may also be used in adhesives.

It can be used as fireproofing material, applied directly to steel beams and columns during the construction phase.

The material is so common that almost everyone in the U.S. has been exposed to it at some point.

When Does It Become A Problem?

Asbestos is not inherently dangerous, contrary to commonly-held opinions. It becomes dangerous when the tiny fibers become airborne, however. If the asbestos is in good condition and left undisturbed, it poses no risk to humans.

Once airborne, fibers can become lodged in the lungs for a long time and eventually can cause cancer through scaring and chronic low-grade inflammation.

This type of cancer affects the mesothelium - a thin tissue layer that lines the cavities and surrounds internal organs - and is appropriately named “mesothelioma.”

Working Around Asbestos

If at all possible, you should not work around asbestos unless you’ve been trained to do so and you have the proper safety gear. Likewise, you should not permit contractors to work in your home without proper asbestos training.

For example, if you are having a new HVAC unit installed, you should work with a professional that has installed many systems and has experience working around potentially hazardous materials.

Should You Remove It?

Removing asbestos should be a last resort. Most contractors and professionals in the construction and home repair industry will advise you to simply seal it up with a non-permeable layer and protect it from becoming airborne.

How To Remove It When Necessary

While keeping it in place is usually your best option, when it does have to be removed, you should use a special team of specialists for the job. This is most definitely not a DIY project, and there are many local and state regulations that control how asbestos can be removed and how it must be disposed of.

Since the fibers can become airborne and travel on the wind, improper removal could also endanger the lives of others, like neighbors. The National Emission Standards For Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) do not apply to privately owned homes and apartments with four or fewer units in them.

However, a licensed contractor should still do the job. Choose someone with experience and that knows all of the risks and safety procedures. 

Latest Articles

Tips for Waterproofing Your Basement

Water damage is the most common form of home damage and can be caused by rain, humidity, seepage, plumbing leaks, burst pipes, and overflows. Your...

on Jul 5, 2022

Pros and Cons of Concreting Your Outdoor Area

If you're in the process of looking for a new driveway, patio, pool surrounding or path you may be waying up the option of concrete. Here are a...

on Jul 3, 2022

What Is Vacate Cleaning?

Vacate cleaning or end of lease cleaning, is a requirement for the person renting a home to clean the house at the end of their renting term. The...

on Jun 30, 2022

How Cleaning Your Gutters Can Save You Money!

There are many reasons why gutter cleaning is important, firsty for preventative maintenance and the overall safety of your building or home. We...

on Jun 30, 2022

How To Renovate Your Bathroom in Your Airbnb

If you are looking to renovate your bathroom in your Airbnb rental, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Renovating a bathroom can be a...

on Jun 30, 2022

Sponsored Articles

Actions

More DIY Articles

Using Your Garage Space for more than Just Car Storage?

Once upon a time, having a garage was very straightforward as it was simply a place to store your car at night and maybe store a few items from the...

Doors / Garages

5 Awesome Gifts Every Homeowner is Going to Love

You’ve been invited to a housewarming party and haven’t got the slightest idea what to get. Here are five awesome gift suggestions to...

General Household

What You Need to Know About Basement Waterproofing

A wet, leaking basement is a seller’s, buyer’s and homeowner’s worst nightmare. A leaking basement can be a health hazard; it...

Plumbing / Basements

Money Saving Remodeling Ideas for Your Home

A renovation is a challenge for anyone who has moved into a new place especially when the budget is limited. Balancing the need to remodel your new...

Improvements / Remodeling

How to Bring Affordable Luxury to Your Home

If you love the finer things in life, you will probably want to introduce some of this into your home. Here are some tips on how you can add a...

Interior Design / Decor

Contact Us | Submit Article | 411homerepair © 2022