Here at Project X Restoration in Denver, we want to share a little about home renovations and asbestos because a lot of people don’t realize that this deadly substance may be lurking in their home, particularly older homes. So, before you swing a sledgehammer on updating your home, it might be wise to take it slow and call for abatement at the first sign of trouble.
Asbestos in the Home
Asbestos has been used in building in the United State for hundreds of years. It is considered an excellent material to use because it is resistant to fire and is a strong material in spite of being relatively lightweight. Cement also adheres to it very easily. It was used extensively until scientists discovered that once it became airborne, asbestos could cause a number of illnesses and is a leading cause of mesothelioma, which is a form of cancer of the lungs’ lining.
Restrictions on building using asbestos were originally placed in 1973 and by 1989 it was almost banned completely. In 1991, the federal courts overturned the last ban and today the U.S. is one of a handful of developed nations that has not completely banned the use of asbestos. It is still used in a number of home building materials today but they are produced so that the asbestos is contained and shouldn’t pose any health issues.
Illnesses from Asbestos
When asbestos is inhaled, the tiny fibers can lodge in the lungs. They accumulate there and cause damage. Exposure to asbestos can be responsible for pleural effusions, which are a buildup of fluid between the lungs and the wall of the chest, pleural plaque, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Currently, asbestos is banned in flooring felt, rollboard, corrugated paper, or commercial and specialty paper. Additionally, pipe-insulation, wall patching compound, and artificial fireplace embers, and spray-applied surfacing material cannot contain asbestos. Asbestos cannot be added to new products or materials that have not historically contained asbestos.
However, there are still a number of products that can contain asbestos. These products include vinyl floor tiles, roofing felt, pipe wrap, cement shingles, and more. This makes home renovations and asbestos almost inevitable if it was built prior to the ban.
Remodeling with Asbestos
If the asbestos in your home is well contained, you probably don’t have to be very concerned with removal. Older homes (built before the mid-1980’s) have the greatest risk of asbestos exposure during a remodel. If you are concerned about being exposed to asbestos, contact a professional asbestos abatement company, such as Project X Restoration in Denver. Professionals know how to best remove asbestos to safely and effectively, without exposing anyone.
Materials that Could Be an Issue
It is important to understand which materials are likely to have asbestos. Problematic materials should be removed by an asbestos abatement professional. These material include:
- Older vinyl or linoleum and the glue used
- Outdoor siding
- Decorative plaster
- Drywall patching and joint compound
- Flat roofing materials
If you are performing home renovations and asbestos is found, contact us here at Project X Restoration in Denver. Even if you’re not sure what to look for, we recommend that you stop right away if you see white fibrous material breaking apart when you demolish or remove any materials and clear the area. Contact our professionals, and we’ll send someone out right away for a professional assessment.