Here is how to tell if your home has asbestos….. If you’re a millennial or were born a few years earlier, higher chances are that you’ve heard of asbestos. The fact that you’re even reading this could mean that you know what asbestos is. For the sake of those who don’t, asbestos is a common construction material that was used back in the day. It is more common in buildings constructed in the late seventies and earlier. The building material was used in quite a number of parts and structures. Some of these include flooring, roofing, plumbing, ceiling, ducting, siding, and around boilers, just to name a few.
There are various types of asbestos, which are basically minerals. The 6 common types include amosite, anthophyllite, chrysotile, crocidolite, actinolite, and tremolite asbestos. Nowadays, buildings are no longer constructed using asbestos. As a matter of fact, you will often come across the phrase “Asbestos Contamination.” This material’s use has was discontinued years ago not only the construction industry but in other industries as well. But how is asbestos a safety and health hazard? How can you tell if your home has asbestos contamination? Read below for this information and how to tell if your home has asbestos.
How Bad Is Asbestos?
Perhaps you’re wondering why the use of asbestos was discontinued in construction. Why is it referred to as asbestos contamination when your home has traces of this substance? It is plain and simple; asbestos-containing products are unsafe for humans and animals, sometimes fatal. When disturbed, the material releases tiny fibers into the air, which is called air pollution. Asbestos fibers can get trapped in the lungs and accumulate over time when breathed in. The accumulated asbestos debris in the lungs can form compounds that cause inflammation, scarring, and injury. This can lead to breathing problems and other health complications such as cancer and asbestosis. As a matter of fact, health, and scientific research categorize asbestos as a substance that can cause human cancer (carcinogen).
Some of the common symptoms of most asbestosis-related diseases such as asbestosis include the following:
• Chest pain and chest tightness
• Wheezing and shortness of breath
• Persistent dry cough sometimes blood-stained
• Loss of appetite
• Clubbed fingers
• Swallowing difficulties
• Anemia and fatigue
• Facial swelling
• Neck swelling
It is worth noting that most of these symptoms are similar to those experienced in common respiratory diseases. This means that unless clinically confirmed, none of the symptoms above can be proof of asbestos contamination in your home.
How to Tell If Your Home Has Asbestos – The Signs
A number of things can be an indication you have asbestos in your home. The following signs can help you tell if your home has asbestos.
1. The Year of Construction
This is more of a fact rather than an observation or sign. If your home was constructed in 1980 or before, there’s a high likelihood that you have asbestos. This is the period during which asbestos was commonly in ceilings, roofing, flooring tiles, ceilings, insulation, walls, and piping.
2. Check Your Roofing
Roofing is a common place where asbestos may be located in a building. Especially bitumen and corrugated flat roofing, some roofs are asbestos-contaminated, especially with white asbestos.
3. Check Your Flooring
Flooring is another common culprit of asbestos contamination, especially tile flooring. If your home has Vinyl tiles, especially the 9” X 9” tiles there’s a high likelihood they probably contain asbestos. It’s even worse if your home was built before 1980.
4. Take a Look at Your Plumbing
Asbestos was commonly used in pipes in the past. Some manufacturers still use it today. If your pipes are producing white or gray remnants of insulation and isn’t pipe insulation, your home probably has asbestos.
5. Inspect Your Ceiling
Ceilings are another common hiding place for asbestos, especially for old ceilings. If your ceiling contains light bases, cover traps, and vent covers check to see if either is suspicious.
The best way how to tell if your home has asbestos is to have your home inspected by a professional. Roughly, asbestos inspection may cost something between $200 and $800 for a standard home. Nonetheless, costs may vary with home size, location, and the company you choose to work with. You can also choose to send a carefully collected and sealed sample for lab analysis. This can cost you as low as $30, again depending on the service provider you choose. Beware that some asbestos inspection service providers also provide asbestos removal. This can only mean one thing. Without proper research and careful selection, you can easily fall victim to asbestos removal scams.