Asbestos may not be a famous killer virus or a disease-causing bacterium but you most certainly do not want it anywhere around your home. It is a natural mineral that has been used for the construction of houses and other inventions over the years.
Unfortunately, inhaling its particles can leave you prone to terminal illnesses, including Asbestosis and lung cancer. Residential homes in Newcastle built before1990 are likely to have components of this mineral in them, i.e., roofs, tiles, wall paints, etc. This is why the city’s council usually demands that an audit of hazardous substance be done and submitted with any documentation seeking permission for the renovation or demolition of such house in the area.
People have also resorted to removing these components from their homes. However, this process could release parts of the mineral into the atmosphere.
But what is the way forward? You don’t want to inhale the toxins, nor should you leave the mineral components in your home. This article will explore more about asbestos, and how to remove it from your home safely. Please read on.
What is Asbestos
Asbestos is a naturally-formed mineral used by construction companies in the 1900s because of its resistance to fire, heat, and electricity. It was popularly used for constructing residential houses, automobile parts, adhesives, vinyl floor tiles, soundproof compartments, etc. You can as well find this mineral in most soundproof buildings and enclosures.
The mineral contains thin dense carcinogenic fibers, which could cause cancer when trapped in the body. However, the possibility of getting asbestos-related illnesses depends on the quantity/length/source of the exposure. You can check here for more details on the types of asbestos and the dangers they could cause to the body.
Where is Asbestos in Your Home?
Ordinarily, it may be hard to identify the components of these minerals because it is integrated into other household surfaces. They might be mixed into the cement used for construction or the spray-on insulation. You can also find them in your vinyl floor tiles, wall tiles, adhesives on glass panes, etc.
Asbestos materials are also used to produce textured paints, wall plasters, and the vintage popcorn ceiling. You can also find them on steam pipes, artificial ashes used for the fireplace. On a side note, the fibers may not be harmful as long as they are not disturbed but can escape through cracks during fire outbreaks, natural disasters, renovation, etc.
However, you can only detect asbestos-containing materials through testing, which is majorly done by asbestos abatement professionals.
Asbestos Exposure in the Home
The asbestos fiber can be exposed in your home through any of the following ways:
Renovating certain areas in the home could expose the material in the atmosphere. For instance, renovating an old attic, removing old walls and floor tiles, changing the roof shingles, etc., it is advised that house owners should call in professionals for asbestos-testing before renovating any part of an old house.
Plumbing faults could make you change the steam pipes or cut the insulation pipes for repairs. However, you could be making yourself vulnerable to these toxins if you don’t allow professionals to handle them.
Drilling a Dry Wall
You may find traces of asbestos in wall paints or tiles, and drilling these walls could expose the fiber into the air. Other cases could be when you’re renovating the home or removing old paints or changing the wallpapers. You don’t want the toxins moving freely in your home; therefore, professional services are highly recommended.
Asides from residential constructions, this material was also used for the production of automobile parts. Such parts as brake pads, hood liners, clutches, gasket materials, etc., were made with asbestos-containing materials.
Factors like exhaust fumes and brake dust could also lead to the exposure of this material into the atmosphere. Auto mechanics and car owners may stand a chance of inhaling the exposed fibers, thereby, endangering their health.
Other individuals who might be at risk include shipyard workers, construction and factory workers. This is because they are constantly exposed to the fibers from this material during production and repairs. Although most of these companies no longer use the minerals, they are still at risk of cancer because of long-term exposure.
How to Remove Asbestos from Your Home
Asbestos removal is nothing like general house cleaning or pest management that could be done with DIY methods. This material is dangerous to health and could cause damage to body organs, especially the respiratory systems. Therefore, you don’t want to leave your health to chance.
That said, the first step in asbestos removal is testing. This should be done before renovations or repairing damages in an old house. The test is done by professionals who specialize in asbestos abatement.
They would test various components of the home that might be affected during the renovation. Also, the building should be vacated as soon as the test returns positive. It is advised to discard items of clothing that might have been contaminated or put them in a plastic bag.
The contractors would also put up a sign to warn other people from entering the building. After that, you will then arrange for the removal of the asbestos-containing materials. You might want to check bdssasbestosremoval.com.au to know how to find professional asbestos abatement contractors to handle issues for you.
You should note that removal without proper disposal may put other people in danger. Therefore, you might want to contact the local authority for directions on how to get rid of the material. You should also seek medical help to check the period of exposure and your risks of getting infected.
Asbestos contains carcinogenic fibers that are harmful to the body. The fibers are non-biodegradable and could get trapped in the body for a long time. This could cause health problems like lung cancer, asbestosis, and extreme respiratory complications.
The components of this material could be lurking in residential houses/offices, and the only way to get rid of them is through asbestos testing and removal. You are also advised to seek professional help when removing the material from your home. You should also check for guidelines on the disposal to prevent further exposure to unsuspecting locals.