It’s enough to make you nervous just hearing the term “asbestos” in a conversation about your house. Asbestos is an all-too-common
pollutant that may cause significant health issues, as well as lowering the value of your home. Fortunately, asbestos can be dealt with in a
safe manner. All you need to know is what you’re up against.
Here’s everything you need to know about asbestos, including what it is, where it can be found, and what to do if you come across it.
What is asbestos and why is it dangerous?
Asbestos has been connected to a wide range of health issues. Asbestos fibres are extremely strong and resistant to degradation. While
this makes them ideal for building, it also means that the body is unable to handle and remove asbestos particles. Your immune system
can’t get rid of asbestos the way it can get rid of a splinter or a piece of bacterium.
The lungs are the most prevalent route for asbestos fibres to enter the body. Asbestos is known to cause three primary illnesses when it
becomes lodged in the lungs:
Asbestosis is a disease that occurs when asbestos fibres become lodged in lung tissue and cause scarring. The lungs grow less and less
able to take in oxygen as they scar. As a result, you may have a crackling sensation in your lungs, shortness of breath, and the risk of
Lung cancer is frequently caused by continuous exposure to asbestos fibres in the lungs, since asbestos is a carcinogen. Cancer can
spread to other tissues in the body, producing breathing difficulties and chest discomfort. Asbestos has been associated with cancers of
the colon, oesophagus, kidneys, larynx, mouth, and stomach, with lung cancer being the most deadly.
Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. Almost every incidence of asbestosis can be traced back to asbestos
exposure, despite the fact that it is very uncommon. The membrane that protects the belly, chest, and lungs is affected by this
One of the most serious issues with asbestos-related illnesses is the length of time it takes for them to manifest in the body. People
frequently don’t know they’re in danger until it’s too late because the majority of these diseases aren’t identified for at least 15 years after
the initial exposure.
Why Did People Use Asbestos in Their Homes?
Asbestos was formerly thought to be a wonder material before its hazards were discovered.
Asbestos is light, making it simple to deal with and transport across the nation. Because it is durable, it has been incorporated into a
variety of building materials. It was also employed in thermal insulation, fireproofing, and even certain garments because of its great
Because asbestos was plentiful and affordable, it was the preferred material for over seven decades.
Is there asbestos present in my home?
Maybe. If your home was built before 1980, there’s a high possibility that asbestos was utilised in some of the construction materials.
Between 1900 and the late 1970s, when it was prohibited from being used in numerous goods, asbestos was in great demand.
Even if your home was built before 1900, asbestos materials may have been used in its renovation at some time during the twentieth
Where Do I Look for Asbestos in My Home?
If you reside in an older house, asbestos may be present in numerous locations, including the basement and attic. The following are the
most prevalent sites where asbestos may be found:
Ceiling Tiles: Asbestos was commonly used in drop ceilings with soundproofing tiles because of its insulating properties.
Cement Surrounds for Wood or Gas Stoves: Asbestos is commonly utilised as a fire retardant in cement board used as a fireproof
surround for heating stoves.
Exterior Shingles and Siding: Asbestos shingles were formerly widely used on roofs and as a siding alternative to cedar shakes.
Asbestos insulation was commonly utilised in or around furnaces, boilers, and ducts to improve their efficiency.
Interior Vinyl Floors: Asbestos was commonly found in older vinyl, asbestos, or rubber floor tiles, as well as the backing on rolled vinyl
Spray-on Insulation: Attic asbestos insulation was highly prevalent from the 1930s through the 1950s. For this reason, asbestos may be
detected in the walls.
Steam Pipe Casings and Insulation: Asbestos may be present in the pipe casings of older homes using steam heat. Asbestos-wrapped
hot water pipes are also rather frequent.
Textured Paint: Textured paint, as well as some older joint compounds and patching products, have been frequently found to contain
Is Asbestos a Threat to My Health?
When tiny, loose fibres of asbestos are discharged into the air, the greatest risk emerges. Inhaling the fibres is simple, resulting in severe
Friable asbestos, which is asbestos in easily crumblable forms, is the most hazardous to people because it may easily float into the air
and be swallowed. Spray-on applications are the most hazardous because of this. Asbestos embedded in hard materials like floor tiles is
However, there is no such thing as a safe level of asbestos exposure.
How Did I End Up With Asbestos?
Over the last decade or so, DIY projects have surged in popularity, exposing many households to asbestos unintentionally. Asbestos
fibres can be released into the air when you knock down an old wall, probe with a drill, or rummage about in an attic. Even “safe” asbestos
applications may turn dangerous if you tear them apart and let the fibres into your house.
You could be exposed to hazardous asbestos, for example, if you:
Disturb Attic Asbestos: If you disturb or attempt to remove asbestos-containing attic insulation, fibres will be released into the air.
Drilling Into Walls: Walls may have asbestos insulation or be coated with joint compound or asbestos-containing wallboard. Asbestos may
be released into the air if a wall is torn down or drilled into during a home repair job.
Removing Popcorn Ceilings: Asbestos-based textured paint was frequently used to paint older popcorn ceilings. When you scrape the
texture from the ceiling, hazardous filaments are released.
Pipe Insulation Should Be Replaced: Tearing away asbestos pipe insulation might cause the mineral to crumble and be discharged into
Scrape Up Floor Tiles: Getting down to the sub-floor by removing old vinyl or asbestos flooring will shatter the tiles, enabling asbestos to
escape into the air.
How Can I Tell If My House Has Asbestos?
Unfortunately, simply glancing at something does not reveal if it is composed of asbestos. You can make an informed guess based on the
age of your home and the materials you observe, but asbestos testing is required for an official decision.
To gather samples of suspicious materials safely, you should engage a skilled, licensed asbestos inspector. After that, the expert will
send these samples for testing and inform you of the results.
How do I get asbestos out of my house?
For any asbestos abatement endeavour, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highly advises that you contact a qualified asbestos
removal firm. Workers should be taught to keep asbestos confined and prevent fibres from entering the air since the danger of
contamination is significant.
Furthermore, asbestos is a dangerous substance that must be disposed of correctly. It’s not acceptable to simply toss it in the garbage.
Asbestos experts have the necessary tools to avoid contamination of your and your neighbours’ property, as well as protective clothing to
keep themselves safe. They also understand how to work under state and municipal asbestos cleanup regulations.
What is the procedure for asbestos removal?
If you haven’t previously done so, the contractor will conduct an asbestos inspection. If they find any, the workers will use special plastic
sheeting to block up the area and prevent the asbestos from escaping.
They will ship it off for appropriate disposal once they have removed all of the damaged materials and placed them in sealed containers.
Before removing the plastic sheeting, the workers will carefully clean and disinfect the area to ensure that you have a clean slate.
Finally, they’ll conduct another asbestos test to ensure that the job was completed correctly. To remain safe, the team will wear protective
suits and breathing masks during the operation.
Where Can I Locate a Reputable Asbestos Removal Company in Scotland?
The importance of proper training and extensive experience cannot be overstated. Swift Asbestos Removal is the company to call for safe
and clean asbestos removal. They’re completely licensed and can provide you with everything you need for asbestos testing and removal
in a timely and effective manner.