There are numerous families that are opting to remodel their homes themselves instead of choosing a professional remodeling company in order to save on money. However, before you begin any remodeling projects, it’s important to understand the hidden dangers of asbestos and how it can affect you and your family.
How Old is Your Home?
If your home was built during the 1990s or later, then you probably do not have any asbestos-containing products to worry about. However, homes built prior to the mid-1980s may contain asbestos in numerous areas of the home.. Older appliances such as furnaces may have also been made with asbestos-containing products.
Areas and products that may contain asbestos in older homes include:
- Attic insulation, especially in homes built anywhere in between the 1930s through the 1950s
- Siding shingles
- Vinyl flooring
- Textured paint
- “Popcorn” style ceilings
- Walling and flooring around wood-burning stoves
- Window glazing and caulking
- HVAC duct insulation
- Steam pipes
- Boilers, and more
If you have an older home, it’s highly recommended to not start any home remodeling, renovation, or repair projects until you know for sure if it contains asbestos or not. If asbestos is suspected, a professional asbestos abatement professional will be to confirm its presence via proper detection techniques, and in turn and help remove it.
If you need assistance, contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for recommendations. The EPA suggests that even if you have a minor repair to make, it’s always advisable to seek professional assistance if you live in an older home.
The Dangers of Asbestos in Older Homes
The drier asbestos is, the more dangerous it becomes. In older homes, asbestos can be extremely dry and can easily crumble. Once it crumbles, asbestos fibers become airborne. Asbestos fibers, thin, fine, colorless, and odorless, are easily inhaled unbeknownst to people.
Simply making small repairs in an older home that contains asbestos may stir up it and cause asbestos fibers to permeate throughout the air. Once inhaled, the body cannot get rid of all of them, and over time, the fibers will start scarring the lining of major organs, such as the lungs, heart, or abdomen.
However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there is no reason to panic if you live in an older home with asbestos. If the asbestos is not disturbed, then there usually is not a reason for concern. Keep in mind that having asbestos in your home is not dangerous unless it is disturbed.
If you suspect asbestos has been disturbed before a professional can come out, CPSC suggests that you should never sweep up or try to vacuum it. This will only disturb the asbestos fibers even further. Instead, avoid the area as much as possible until a professional can assist you.
Additional Help and Information for Asbestos Victims
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other illness due to asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. We invite you to fill out our contact form today to get free brochures from the top mesothelioma lawyers in your area. For more than 20 years, we’ve been helping families successfully connect with the best mesothelioma attorneys. With over $30 billion currently in asbestos trust funds, now is the right time to take the first step in determining what you may qualify for.