Asbestos Testing Kits for DIY Testing

By Stan G. in Removal

Asbestos was a popular material in the twentieth century, and if your house was constructed before the 1980s, it is highly likely to have asbestos-containing components. The widely used material can be found in multiple locations across your home, for example, it can be in the ceiling tiles, old floors tiles, roof shingles, siding, insulation for attics, pipes, and furnaces, paints and adhesives, soundproofing applications plaster compounds, electrical wiring casings, etc. Therefore, asbestos testing is of major importance because of the possibility of exposure.

Discovering If Asbestos Is Present in Any Area of Your House Is Absolutely Necessary

Asbestos testing is a process of inspecting and testing a building to ascertain whether there is a presence of asbestos-containing materials and their location within the building. If you have reason to believe that there may be asbestos in or around your home, then you need to call in a professional or to use an asbestos testing kit to know for sure. Asbestos testing is also necessary if planning on renovation or repairing a building that's more than 30 years old.

Testing your house for asbestos is important in order to determine how hazardous it is to your health. Asbestos has been found to pose a serious health risk when its fibers become loose and airborne, since breathing them in can cause inflammation and scarring of lung tissues.

You Can Use a Home Asbestos Testing Kit

Because asbestos can't be seen with the naked eye, you can't identify materials that may contain asbestos simply by looking at them. A lot of people wonder if it's possible to test for asbestos in their homes. Because federal law doesn't require single-family homeowners to be accredited in order to handle asbestos, if you have to test for asbestos in your home and your state, city or county rules allow you to do so, you can do it using an asbestos testing kit. Asbestos test kits contain some basic equipment for collecting an asbestos sample, and a certificate to have that sample tested in a laboratory. You can buy an asbestos testing kit from your local home improvement retailer, or purchase one online. There are two main types of asbestos testing kits:

  • All-inclusive asbestos testing kits that give immediate results
  • Asbestos sample testing kit with laboratory analysis included

The kits that require sending a sample to a lab do not have the same accuracy issues as immediate result kits. If test results return positive, which means the building has asbestos-containing materials, the testing professional will give you several options, but in most cases, they recommend removal.

Safety Procedures Must Be Followed While Taking Samples

If you do decide to use a home asbestos testing kit, you must follow the instructions that come with your do-it-yourself kit for the best results and apply full asbestos safety precautions when collecting either solid and friable materials or dust samples. Asbestos sampling kits come with a sample bag, plastic gloves, instructions, and a detailed order form, although they vary to a degree. It is your job to simply scrape away a sample of the siding or a few fibers of insulation from your home and place it inside a sample pouch. Wear disposable coveralls, gloves, safety glasses, boot covers, and respirators equipped with HEPA filters to ensure you are protected.

Why Should I Test Products in My Home for Asbestos?

It is often impossible to tell whether asbestos is embedded in a material, as the fibers are too small to be observed with the naked eye. Exposure to asbestos is responsible for serious respiratory conditions, so thorough testing is required to ensure your home is asbestos-free.