Among a few invisible threats that may be present in a home, whether it’s yours already or you’re considering buying it in the future, asbestos is one of the most significant and well-known. This mineral fiber can be present in a number of different older building materials, and poses several potential health risks to those who are exposed to it – and part of what makes it difficult to deal with is identifying its presence in the first place.
At Aerolite Consulting, we’re happy to offer high-quality asbestos testing and inspection services to clients in Springville and several surrounding areas. And while only a specific asbestos test or inspection will be able to 100% confirm the presence of asbestos in a home, there are a number of signs that can at least give you an idea it’s present – which will then allow you to call on our team to perform a more thorough test. In this two-part blog series, we’ll discuss what asbestos is and why it’s hard to spot in many cases, plus some of these initial indicators and why they’re meaningful.
Firstly, let’s discuss what asbestos is and why it’s so hard to detect in many situations. Asbestos is a mineral fiber, which has been used in building materials for thousands of years due to its natural fireproofing properties – but since the early 20th century, it has become better known as a health hazard that can lead to everything from lung cancer to mesothelioma. Unfortunately, it can be found in a wide range of older building materials, including ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, mastic adhesive and more – meaning that many homes built prior to the early 1980s may contain the substance in some form.
Asbestos testing is the only way to truly confirm its presence in a home – but at the same time, it’s hard to spot for a few reasons. Firstly, asbestos isn’t always present in visible amounts – many times, it may be mixed in with other building materials like insulation or floor tiles, and only present in microscopic amounts. In addition, many times asbestos may become a potential health hazard only when it’s disturbed and its fibers are released into the air – meaning that you’ll need to be careful if any kind of renovation project is being conducted in an older home.
However, there will often be signs of asbestos presence that show up. Our next several sections (and into part two of our series) will go over some of these, whether for a home you already live in or one you’re considering buying.
While it isn’t necessarily a “sign” per se, one of the first things to look for when considering asbestos presence is simply when the home was built – because while it can be found in buildings constructed as recently as 1985, most homes that contain asbestos were built before 1981.
So if you already live in a home or are looking at buying one and it was constructed prior to this time period, it’s likely a good idea to at least consider having an asbestos test conducted. This way, you can have peace of mind and know for sure whether or not the material is present – and if it is, take all necessary steps to ensure that its fibers are contained, so that no one in your family is exposed.
In part two of this series, we’ll go over some more signs that asbestos may be present in your home – and how our team at Aerolite Consulting can help you confirm, contain or eliminate its presence. Stay tuned, and contact us for any of your testing or home inspection needs in Springville or any nearby area.