Posted on: 22 May 2015
Asbestos is a mineral that used to be widely used as a construction material. Now, we know that asbestos is actually very dangerous and causes cancer, but it is still present in about half of American homes. Asbestos becomes dangerous when its fibers are stirred up into the air, which can easily happen when you do home renovations. Here are five places where asbestos could be hiding in your home.
Asbestos doesn't burn, it absorbs sound, and it's strong, so before people knew that asbestos caused cancer, it seemed like the perfect material for insulating homes. Removing or replacing this insulation can expose you to asbestos, so before you start your renovations, have your home inspected for asbestos.
Older vinyl floor tiles were often made with asbestos, so replacing the tiles in your kitchen or bathroom could be very dangerous. The asbestos was both mixed into the vinyl and used as a backing for the tiles. Even the adhesives that were used to install the tiles often contained asbestos!
Asbestos used to be added to asphalt or cement roofing shingles to make the shingles last longer. As long as the shingles are in good condition, you are safe, but when the shingles start to break down after years of exposure to heat and water, asbestos fibers are released into the air. If shingles get blown off your roof and onto your lawn, don't touch them, and don't try to replace your roof by yourself without having the shingles tested for asbestos first.
Asbestos used to be mixed with cement and then shaped into shingles to make siding for homes. It's found on many older homes in the United States, so if your home has siding, you need to be very careful with it. Sanding, scraping, or removing the siding is very dangerous if asbestos is present.
Asbestos can be found in unlikely places, like your paint. Asbestos was mixed into paint until the 1980s to make homes less flammable. This paint may still be exposed if you haven't painted your house in a while, but even if you've painted over it, the danger isn't gone. If you scrape off paint or knock down a wall during renovations, the layer of asbestos paint can be stirred up into the air.
If you live in an older home, asbestos can be hiding in many places, so renovations can be very dangerous. Before you start any home improvement projects, have your home inspected for asbestos by a company like Hutzel & Associates, Inc.Share