Asbestos: Homeowner’s Guide to Staying Safe

Asbestos was once used regularly in a variety of building materials, for its tensile strength, fire-proof and insulating properties. Despite it’s almost ‘miraculous’ properties, asbestos poses many serious health risks.

The fibers, if airborne and inhaled, can lead to mesothelioma, the scarring of lung tissue, or even cancer of the lungs. It’s important, especially in homes built before 1990, to check for the presence of asbestos. The asbestos removal experts at Thompson Valley Restoration DKI, in Kamloops, have a few suggestions about how best to proceed if you suspect that there is asbestos in your home.

  • Checking for Asbestos. If your home was built between 1920 and 1990, it is best to verify if asbestos is indeed present in the structure. It may be found in walls, pipes, floors, wiring, ceiling tiles, and insulation or fireproofing materials. To properly check for asbestos, you must have samples of building materials taken, and sent to an accredited laboratory to analyze. Detecting asbestos requires laboratory testing, as an asbestos fibre is not visible to the naked eye. It is recommended that a certified AHERA Asbestos building inspector conduct the inspection.
  • Does the asbestos material in your home pose a threat?. Asbestos is hazardous when the material it is bound to is in poor condition, or has been disturbed (Renovations, disaster etc.) When asbestos materials become disturbed, the fibres can become airborne. When asbestos fibres become airborne, this poses a direct hazard when inhaled. If the asbestos material is in perfect condition, it may remain in the structure and not pose any threat. If you prefer to err on the side of caution, it’s time to call in the experts.
  • Bring in the pros. Asbestos removal professionals can help determine whether or not there is asbestos in your home, and whether it would be more prudent to remove or remain in place. When purchasing a new home, or renovating, it is recommended to get an asbestos building survey completed.
  • Repair or remove? In some cases, the asbestos materials can be repaired or protected from becoming a danger. Repairing and containing requires sealing small cracks in pipes, or affixing air-tight protection to areas containing the asbestos. These are temporary fixes, and might still require a more permanent solution in time. Again, this is work best left to experts working with the proper equipment and training.
  • If in doubt, don’t mess with it. If you have any doubts, it’s best to avoid taking any chances. Avoid disturbing the material, and call a licensed removal company.

Breathe easy!
Asbestos can be a hidden danger, but the licensed specialists at Thompson Valley Restoration can help make your home safe for everyone. We can also help with basement floods and water damage restoration. For additional safety tips and suggestions, don’t hesitate to give us a call, or to visit our website.
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