What to Do If You Have Asbestos in Your Home

Asbestos isn’t something of the past. It’s something that could be in your workplace, your kids’ school and even your home, and could affect your life today.

Many people have died and will die because of asbestos. So, what do you do if you have asbestos in your home?

Identifying Asbestos

Most of the time, you can’t look at a material and identify whether it contains asbestos. If you’re not sure, act as if the material does contain asbestos and leave it alone. Asbestos only becomes harmful if disturbed or damaged and it releases fibres.

If you’re planning to remodel your home, or your home has damaged building materials, then have your home inspected for asbestos.

A trained professional will take samples to determine whether further action is necessary.

What to Do If You Think You Have Asbestos in Your Home

If you think that you have asbestos in your home, then there’s no need to panic. If the asbestos-containing material isn’t disturbed or damage, then it poses no threat, unless you think it may be damaged in the future.

Keep an eye on it for signs of wear and tear and damage over time. If it is damaged, or becomes so, then repair or removal by a trained asbestos professional is needed.

If You Have Asbestos

There are two types of action to deal with asbestos; repair and removal.

Repair usually involves sealing or covering the asbestos material.

–          Sealing means treating the material with a sealant that either binds the asbestos fibres together or coats the material so the fibres are not released.

–          Covering involves placing something over or around the material to prevent the release of fibres.

Removal is usually required when renovation to your home will result in disturbing the asbestos, or the asbestos-containing material is damaged extensively and cannot be repaired. Improper removal can increase the risk of exposure, so it’s important to instruct a trained professional to do it for you.

Dos and Don’ts 

–          Do leave undamaged asbestos-containing materials alone

–          Do restrict access to asbestos-containing materials to lower the risk of damage

–          Do use professionals to deal with asbestos

–          Don’t dust, sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos

–          Don’t saw, sand, scrape or drill holes in asbestos-containing materials

–          Don’t use abrasive pads or brushes, or a power stripper to strip wax from asbestos flooring

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