Owning a house comes with a great deal of maintenance and repairs to keep it from falling apart and have the aesthetics remain the same. Of the many things that you have to manage or worry about, asbestos is one that you would not want to even think about at all. But what exactly makes asbestos dangerous? Can you rid your house of it? We will answer these questions, learn about the fundamentals of asbestos, and so much more in today’s article.
Explaining the Basics of Asbestos
Asbestos is one of the various naturally-occurring minerals that possess flexible and delicate fibers that can resist heat and other elements. You can find it on many surfaces.
The material is resistant to heat, finds its use in cloth, plastic, paper, cement, and other products that organizations and companies can manufacture. It is also a perfect insulator, making it one of the best components that the building industry uses. Asbestos can also be present in almost four thousand buyer goods.
Here is a sample of natural asbestos and its fibers. A touch can cause them to break free of the rock and flow into the air.
The Many Health Hazards of Asbestos
Asbestos has been used primarily in the construction enterprise during its heyday back in the seventies and eighties. It has a tremendous impact on the market and the business world on a magnanimous scale, but there is a catch.
It has been discovered by medical experts and practitioners that asbestos contains various health and safety hazards. Some of them are on the list below.
- Lung Cancer
- Other lung conditions
You can be exposed to it when you inhale the fibrous material that rests on a surface. If an asbestos-carrying item is cracked, damaged, or disturbed, there is a big chance that the fibers will break free from the surface and go high into the air.
The symptoms of asbestos-related diseases do not show themselves early on. But instead, it takes years for them to develop. The conditions may expedite if you are an avid smoker or if you already have pre-existing lung conditions. It is a swell practice to pay a visit to a health expert or doctor if you think or feel that something is wrong.
Where Can You Find it in A House?
There is a chance that asbestos can be present on your property if the building is at least more than thirty years old. You can check your house for the hazard but make sure you wear the proper equipment before doing so.
You can find asbestos in:
- Wall and attic insulations
- Coal furnaces
- Oil furnaces
- Asbestos blanket steam pipes
- Hot water pipes
- Roofing shingles
- Siding shingles
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Cement sheets
- Ceiling and wall patching aggregates
- Temperature resistant fabrics
- Woodburning stove floors and walls
- Vinyl sheet floorings
A heat-resistant asbestos fabric. This asbestos item must be placed in a specialized container before and after using it as misuse can cause exposure to the dangerous compound.
Besides homes, you can find asbestos in other places such as schools, old industrial plants, building complexes, and soil and rock where asbestos naturally occurs.
Detoxifying Your Home on Your Own
You can go ahead and work things on your own to make your home asbestos-free. But the process is delicate and demands a lot of concentration and the use of proper equipment. There is a plethora of methods to detect and remove asbestos, but first, you must make sure that it is present on your property.
Some of the materials and items that you can use for the handling of asbestos include:
- Asbestos bags
- Special vacuums
- Asbestos sheets
- Heavy-duty abatement machines
- Pump sprayers
A couple of asbestos-filled bags. Make sure that you place the waste in the bag and seal it off properly after putting it inside another one. Inappropriate sealing can cause the bag to open, thus releasing the contents.
Legal Aspects of Doing it Without Assistance
Make sure that you also have a certification or permit before you continue with disinfecting your house. Check-in also with authorities to make sure that you are not breaking any laws for your endeavor. Some states mandate that it is illegal to clear asbestos from a location without the supervision of an expert or the services and aid of a local and certified asbestos company.
This is a picture of a group of individuals performing an illegal asbestos clearing operation. The task provides less hassle with many people helping side by side, but the lack of protective gear puts them all at risk of exposure.
Tips For Safe Asbestos Management And Abatement
A proper dress code is for the safe handling of asbestos. Failure to wear protective gear only puts you at a greater risk of getting in contact with the compound.
- Once you begin working, take note that any air conditioning and exhausts in your location have a seal.
- Take your time and seal off the entire area. Create a perimeter and notify your loved ones and even neighbors of the project.
- You can go and clean any affected carpet by steaming it more than once.
- Use a wet rag or two to clear an area where asbestos dust resides.
- If you are working with vacuums, do check that it comes with a HEPA filter. Not only will it ensure the completion of the job, but will also guarantee your safety.
- Bring any asbestos waste to a certified facility by taking a specific route. Neatly labeling the waste bags will also save the facility workers some time once it is their turn to get rid of the material.
- Also include signs, posts, markers, and other warning devices that are visible to people to avoid any trespassing and unwanted attention once you are working. Unable to do so risks others who enter an affected area and can put him or her at risk.
Going For Professional Assistance
Doing the job on your own is one thing, but there is room for errors and unforeseen consequences. You might miss an area or two that has the material, and it will present a threat to you in the future if you do not find it and do something immediately.
Good thing there are professional companies out there that can help with this issue. If you live in the UK, there are asbestos removals in Birmingham that you can opt for their services and let them do the job for you. They will get rid of the asbestos permanently and with minimal chances of failure.
Here is a busy worker carrying out the task of securing numerous bags of hazardous waste. Proper tools and gear are a must for any asbestos-related undertaking.
Companies have many services when it comes to finding a solution for asbestos. Some of these include:
- Home asbestos inspection
- Asbestos sampling
- Air quality sampling
- Abatement and remediation
- Quarantine and containment
- Asbestos recovery acts
You and your family and pets may all have to clear out and leave your house for a couple of days. when the experts move in to get down to business. It wouldn’t harm at all to be far from home to ensure your safety. This aspect depends on the scale and duration of the project. The company will hand you out a detailed report daily on the ongoing progress wherever you may be.
You don’t have to worry about other risks that may arise when the experts are doing what they do best. The methods that they practice and the equipment they use are all certified and for most times are eco-friendly. This means that not only is your place a safer one, but it will also benefit the environment around you.
Is It Expensive To Get Rid Of Asbestos?
The short and simple answer to this question is a solid and one hundred percent yes. Regardless if you will take care of things on your own or hire a company that excels in asbestos issues, you will have to cash out a lot to finally be free of the threat that lurks quietly in your home.
Asbestos has dangers that do not show themselves for a long time. And to practice appropriate clearing methods and wearing protective clothing will save you a lot of cash in the long run. This aspect is a better alternative than paying for even more once you or someone you know gets hospitalized. And hospital bills, medicine, and other miscellaneous fees cost an arm and leg. So better safe than sorry.
The process of making your home permanently safe from asbestos is not an easy one, but the result is guaranteed to be worth the resources, time, and effort. Nothing beats an asbestos-free property, and you get to sleep at night with one less thing to stress about.
You can also take the project as a learning experience. Not only will you possess new knowledge as you research and find out more about asbestos and the dangers it carries. But you also gain a new sense of discipline and patience. You can put all of this to better use and help a friend or relative that may have an asbestos issue on their hands.