What to Do If You Find Asbestos in Your Home
Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, has been used ever since ancient times, as it has numerous convenient properties, such as resistance to fire, durability, resistance to electricity and extraordinary strength. Furthermore, it was also very inexpensive to purchase and widely available. However, asbestos is a carcinogen, which means that exposure to it, which occurs by inhalation or ingestion, can result in serious diseases within 20 to 50 years.
The heyday of asbestos was without a doubt between 1920 and 1980, as millions of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings throughout the United States would contain the mineral in construction products such as:
- floor tiles
- roof tiles
- ceiling tiles
- furnace cement
- pipe lagging
- heating ducts
- window putty
If Your Home Was Built Before 1980, Chances Are That It Contains Asbestos
Today, buildings that were put up before 1980 still contain asbestos, which may be a health hazard if the construction products in which the mineral is present are disturbed. When building materials with asbestos are disturbed, they inevitably release microscopic fibers in the air, which will subsequently be breathed in or swallowed by whoever is in close proximity. Over the years, construction products manufactured with asbestos become friable or brittle, which makes exposure very likely to occur. While asbestos exposure from building materials in a home is not as severe as that occurring in industrial settings, it still poses a health threat, which is why you need to have any product that contains the mineral safely removed from your home, especially if you are planning to do any renovation or remodeling.
Removing asbestos products by yourself is always a bad idea, as you will unavoidably end up contaminating your entire home with the toxic mineral. Even though you may take the necessary protective measures, such as covering the furniture and wearing coveralls and a respirator, asbestos fibers, which are very tiny, will still escape when you remove the building material in question. Once they are released in your home, they are nearly impossible to remove, as they have a rough texture that makes them stick to surfaces such as couches, beds, and armchairs. Therefore, if you plan to do renovation or remodeling to your home in a part of the house where asbestos products are present, the best idea is to hire a team of certified professionals to properly take care of and dispose of the asbestos products from your home. Nevertheless, it is important to know that, if you do not intend to disturb asbestos products and they are in a relatively good condition, you do not need to remove them, as only by disturbing them you will release carcinogenic fibers in the air.
The Cost of the Asbestos Removal Process
There are numerous benefits of working with a licensed team of professionals that specializes in asbestos removal, such as safely disposing of unwanted asbestos products and ensuring that your home will not be contaminated with asbestos after the process is completed. The cost of the asbestos removal process highly depends on how many asbestos products you have in your house, the size and the layout of the area, the protective equipment the professionals have to use, and the disposal methods. Nevertheless, it usually ranges between $1,100 and $2,000. If you want to remove all the asbestos products from your home, you will have to pay approximately $30,000.
A very important aspect you should keep in mind before hiring a team of professionals to remove the asbestos products from your home is asbestos testing. If your home was built before 1980, chances are that it contains asbestos. However, if it underwent renovation or remodeling, some of the asbestos products may not be present today. For this reason, if you are unsure of the presence of asbestos in the building materials in your home, you should first collect a sample of the product in question and send it to a laboratory to be analyzed by experts in order to determine if the material contains asbestos. Only then you can think about hiring a team of professionals to safely and properly get rid of the hazardous products in your home. You can also read our page about how to recognize asbestos products to help you identify building materials that may contain the mineral.
Keep a Close Eye On Old Construction Products
Asbestos exposure, even in small amounts, can be very dangerous, which is why you should keep a close eye on old construction products that may be present in your home. There are numerous diseases exposure to asbestos can result in over the years, the most serious being the following:
- lung cancer
- esophageal cancer
- pulmonary fibrosis
- laryngeal cancer
- diffuse pleural thickening
- colorectal cancer
- bronchial cancer
If you or a family member developed a disease as a consequence of asbestos exposure, you can recover the financial compensation you deserve for your suffering by contacting a law firm that specializes in toxic exposure. In the regrettable event that you have asbestos products in your home, we encourage you to read our page that will teach you how to safely remove building materials that contain it from your house.