Asbestos has been widely used as insulation and in strengthening vinyl roof shingles, pipes, concrete, joint compounds, wallboards, and floor tiles. It has been used in adhesives, too. The construction industry, indeed, has frequently utilized this fireproofing material. However, it’s not a secret that asbestos is a harmful fibrous mineral when inhaled.
The fibers of Asbestos are so small that they’re very difficult to see. You’ll often find asbestos hiding in your walls and everyday building materials. It’s known as a hidden killer, mainly because you don’t know precisely when you’ve been exposed since it takes years for the illness to develop in your body.
So, how does one catch asbestos before it’s too late? How do you identify this hidden killer? Read on below to learn how to check if there may be asbestos in your walls.
1. Identify Areas Where Asbestos Are Commonly Present
As a property owner, you need to know where there’s a high probability of the presence of asbestos in your home. Doing so will make you more aware of exactly where you should begin your search. It will save you time rather than guessing or feeling your way around your house. So, the primary step is to first determine the areas that are most viable for asbestos checking or testing. Asbestos insulating board, textured coatings, water cisterns, and pipes are areas of your home that should be checked for asbestos presence. Add to the list, gutters and asbestos cement products, such as partitions, drainpipes, as well as garage roofs and walls.
2. Identify Signs Of The Hidden Killer
Asbestos can be really very hard to detect because it’s commonly used in different materials. How can you guarantee that there’s no asbestos in your home? Or, how can you be sure that your house has asbestos in it? It’s essential to start your search in your walls and proceed to examine other areas or parts of your home.
Old corrugated cement roofing, damaged shingles, brittle ceiling tiles, crumbling drywall, and frayed piping insulation or building are signs that you should take note of. These are red flags that actually tell you that asbestos, indeed, is present.
The problem is that there are really times when the naked eye just can’t see asbestos. It wasn’t for nothing that asbestos was named the hidden killer; it truly isn’t always easy to spot. That being said, you may need to consider calling an asbestos expert to ensure that your family is living in a healthy and safe environment.
There are also areas in your house where you actually can be sure that no asbestos is used. For instance, ceilings or walls that are made of metal, bricks, stone, wood, and glass are asbestos-free. Knowing about this will save yourself the hassle of worrying about asbestos presence from time to time.
3. Conduct An Asbestos Survey
You can’t smell asbestos, and, sometimes, you can’t see it through the naked eyes. Is there something else that you can do to identify if it’s around? What other methods can you take to know if your future, especially your health, is at risk? Conducting an asbestos survey is the surest way to do it.
An asbestos expert usually conducts the asbestos survey. Information about your structure or building, like dates when work was carried out and the date it was finally built, will be gathered by the asbestos surveyor as these details will give them an idea as to the specific materials that have been likely used during the property’s construction. A survey will, then, follow for them to identify exactly where in your building or structure asbestos can be found.
4. Perform Asbestos Removal
Of course, after checking where asbestos is in your property, asbestos removal should follow. Your walls and other areas where asbestos is present can actually be repaired. Still, the only permanent solution if you really want to get rid of the problem is asbestos removal. Please keep in mind, however, that to ensure your and your family’s safety after the asbestos removal work, you should take samples in the air. Asbestos removal should be an eco-friendly move, and air sampling is essential since the process, if not done properly, poses a high fiber release risk. That’s why it’s best to leave this kind of work to professionals. The contractor is going to use disposable clothing, approved respirators, and a HEPA vacuum during the removal process.
It’s essential to be extra careful when searching for or removing asbestos in your property. Don’t forget that mesothelioma cancer and other diseases can result from asbestos exposure. As much as possible, the job should be carried out by experts or experienced professionals. It’s also important to hire a certified service provider to do the work, whether you decide to have asbestos repaired or removed. There are asbestos safety courses approved by the federal or the state authorities, so check if the person you’ll choose has completed any.
Also, when outsourcing the work of finding asbestos in your walls to professionals, follow the recommendation of the Environmental Protection Agency to hire someone independent of the contractor who’s going to carry out asbestos removal. Doing so will help in ensuring that only what’s necessary is done.