Could Asbestos Be Lurking in Your Home?

Posted on August 1, 2014 in Blog

AsbestosYour home is supposed to be your family’s safe haven, and is ideally the location where they can be protected from the elements, criminals, and dangerous airborne particles that are part of outdoor pollution. But what can you do if you discover that the air inside your home is slowly poisoning you and your family? Many older homes, especially those that were built before the year 1980, contain a dangerous mineral called asbestos that can cause a multitude of health issues primarily affecting the lungs. Some of these health issues, such as lung cancer, can result in death if they are not found and treated quickly enough. Many people who have asbestos in their homes do not understand why they are developing troubling lung symptoms because they are simply unaware of asbestos prevalence in older homes and they don’t know what symptoms to watch for. If you think that asbestos could be lurking in your home, here are a couple of things you can do to check for it.

Know Where Asbestos Is Most Commonly Found

In order to figure out whether or not your home contains asbestos, you first need to know where the substance is most commonly found. In older homes, asbestos is most likely to be found in the following areas:

  • Ceiling tiles
  • Flashing
  • Siding
  • Floor tiles
  • Roof shingles
  • Joint compound (located between sheetrock seams)
  • Pipe cement
  • Insulation (especially around fireplaces, pipes, boilers, sheeting, and ducts)

Although asbestos is more common in older homes, it can also be found in newer homes as well. If you suspect that your home may contain asbestos, it is a good idea to have a professional inspect all of the areas where the dangerous mineral is most often found. They will likely use one of two approved methods for asbestos testing: Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) or Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM).

Is Asbestos Always Toxic?

Asbestos is unlikely to cause serious health problems as long as it doesn’t become airborne. Once asbestos particles enter the air they can be inhaled by the inhabitants of your home and cause dangerous symptoms and diseases such as lung cancer. Once asbestos is inhaled, medical treatment is often necessary in order to alleviate symptoms before they become more serious and even deadly. Asbestos can become airborne over time as asbestos-containing materials in the home deteriorate with age and become unstable. Roofing that contains asbestos can be especially dangerous, since it can start to deteriorate and become airborne without the homeowner even noticing. Home repairs, drilling, and hammering can also release asbestos particles into the air.

If you have an older home, or if you have suddenly begun experiencing lung problems, call H2 Environmental and let us check your home for asbestos.