Asbestos is a harmful material that was widely used in construction and insulation prior to the 1980's. Due to its harmful health effects such as Mesothelioma and asbestosis it was, and is still, banned from use. Despite that, there are still possibilities that you could find asbestos in your home, especially if it was built or renovated before the 90's. Since asbestos fibers can be easily inhaled, handling the material upon discovery requires great care as detailed below.
Protect yourself at all times
Your first concern upon discovering any material suspected to be asbestos should be to protect yourself. You can do so by cutting off contact with the material suspected to be asbestos. Immediately wear protective gear such as gloves, coveralls, disposable clothes and most importantly – wear a respirator. If you were in the middle of handling the material containing the asbestos, carefully return it in place. Do not try to uncover other material you suspect to have asbestos. Also avoid doing anything that would get the asbestos fibers in the air, such as dropping, breaking or scratching it.
Prevent the spread of asbestos fibers
Next, take any measures you can to prevent the asbestos from spreading. If the asbestos-containing material is exposed and may release the dangerous fibers, cover it with a thick polythene bag. If the particular room you were in is already compromised, try to seal it off using polythene sheets. This will help keep the contamination from spreading to the other rooms. If the asbestos is located outside e.g. on a chimney or roof, close your windows and warn any close neighbors. Do all this while wearing your protective gear.
Seek an asbestos inspection
Once you have taken the quick measure to mitigate the situation, call an asbestos inspection team. They will collect samples and seal off exposed areas. If they tend to think the material in question has asbestos, they will inspect other areas of your home and look for the same. The most prone areas include roofing, tiling, wood heating and insulation areas in the kitchen, bathroom around the HVAC and water heater. The inspection team will check the collected samples in a lab and verify if they contain asbestos, or nor. If so, they will determine how much of it is in the affected material and issue you with a report.
Seek asbestos removal and disposal
If you do get the confirmation that the material is asbestos, you will need to contact a licensed removal team immediately. In most cases, the asbestos inspection team can also carry out the removal. If the material is prevalent, you will need to be away from the premises. The team will carefully remove all contaminated material and certify your home as safe when done.
To prevent the risk of running into asbestos material in your home, seek an inspection any time you're carrying out extensive repairs, renovating, buying a home or planning a demolition.
For more information, check out companies such as Total Asbestos Services.Share