If you’re planning on doing renovations in your home or if you’re just concerned about your health and the health of your family members, you must know about dangers lurking in asbestos. Even though you probably heard about this dangerous mineral, you probably don’t know exactly what it is, where you can find it, why is it so dangerous and how can you get rid of it. So, if you’re ready to learn something more about asbestos, here’s a little guide for you.
Asbestos is a cheap and effective fire-retardant material and a great thermal and acoustic insulator that was used in building from the 1940s all the way to the 1970s. All of its practical properties caused its extensive use. If your home was built before 1970, you probably have asbestos somewhere in it. It’s usually found in insulation on boilers and pipes, but it can also be present in siding material, vinyl tiles, some types of glue and linoleum, roofing and many other places in the home.
Asbestos itself isn’t really dangerous, but if it becomes airborne, it becomes a very serious health hazard. If asbestos gets damaged, its fibers can get released into the air, spread around the house and be inhaled. Another way asbestos can get into the human body is through water. For instance, if you have old asbestos transite pipes, asbestos fibers can get released into the water you drink.
When inhaled or ingested, asbestos can cause a wide variety of problems, from benign conditions to cancerous ones. Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma and lung cancer, as many people know. But, aside from these conditions, it can also cause the cancer of the voice box and ovarian cancer. However, even noncancerous conditions can be quite severe and life-threatening. For instance, asbestosis is a pulmonary disease that develops when asbestos particles get inhaled and accumulated in the lungs. These particles then cause scar tissue to form on the lungs which limits their elasticity and makes breathing harder. Luckily, as treatment and medication improve, so does the quality of life of the people affected by these asbestos-related conditions. Additionally, not everyone who was exposed to asbestos will get some of these diseases, but exposure definitely increases a person’s risk of developing them during their life.
There’s no way you can tell for sure whether you have asbestos just by visual inspection. However, you can take samples of fibers you suspect are asbestos and send them to a laboratory for tests. There are ways you can take samples yourself, but most experts recommend you hire professionals if there’s any asbestos work involved to minimize exposure.
If tests determine you have asbestos in your home, it’s time to deal with it. The way you can tackle this problem depends on the location of asbestos in your home, its condition and its type (friable or non-friable). Friable asbestos can easily be reduced to powder and become airborne, while the non-friable kind is more tightly bound to other materials and cannot become airborne unless it gets heavily manipulated (sanded or cut). If the asbestos in your home is in very good shape and fibers can’t get released into the air, you can leave it as it is with frequent monitoring for signs of damage. Asbestos can also be insulated and prevented from causing damage with an airtight barrier. These are all temporary solutions to your asbestos problem, but the only way to completely eliminate the problem is with asbestos removal.
Asbestos removal is an extremely high-risk job and there’s a high possibility asbestos fibers will get released into the air if the removal isn’t conducted properly. The best way to remove asbestos from your home is to consult experts in asbestos removal from Sydney who can make sure the asbestos is removed safely, efficiently and in accordance with government codes and legislations. Choosing a certified professional is the key to doing the job safely and thoroughly. Additionally, make sure to take samples of air after the removal process to ensure your home is safe.
If there’s asbestos in your home, don’t panic. Everything can be handled safely and quickly if you contact the right experts and do everything by the book. Good luck.