An asbestos fiber is a thin, microscopic mineral made up of naturally occurring silicate minerals. It is fireproof, heatproof, and offers strength and fire resistance. The material used in the products became popular due to its toxic properties. Asbestos can cause cancer and other health conditions in people exposed to it.
How to Identify Materials That May Contain Asbestos
If a material is not labeled, it is generally impossible to tell if it contains asbestos by its appearance. In any case, if you’re not sure, leave it alone if you suspect it contains asbestos. If any of the following applies to your home, it may be a good idea to have an asbestos professional inspect it for asbestos-containing materials:
- You plan on remodeling your home (remodeling can affect building materials)
- There are deteriorated building materials in your house (such as crumbling drywall and damaged insulation).
When the asbestos fibers are released into the air, they lead to several health problems, and hence, a sample collection needs to be undertaken by a trained asbestos professional. A sample can even pose a greater danger if it is taken incorrectly. You should not take samples yourself.
Your home does not need to be tested for asbestos if the materials inside it are not damaged or disturbed. Leaving materials in good condition alone (such as those that won’t be disturbed by remodeling) is a good idea.
How to identify Asbestos?
- You cannot see the individual fibers with your naked eye.
- Each asbestos type has a different color.
- Asbestos fibers have different shapes depending on the type of mineral.
- A majority of fibers are sharp like needles.
Cement, insulation, sealing agents, and tiles all commonly contained asbestos fibers. Asbestos types varied among these products. Amosite asbestos, for instance, is commonly found in fireproofing materials and building materials.
The Things You Should Do if Your Home Has Asbestos
If you feel that your home contains asbestos, make sure to not panic.
Healthy people are not likely to be at risk from asbestos, if the material is not disturbed or damaged. If you find out that the asbestos-containing material is in a good condition, it is advised to leave it alone.
When these asbestos-containing materials are in a good condition and will not be disturbed (through remodeling), asbestos fibers won’t be released.
It is possible for asbestos-containing materials to release fibers during disturbance, damage, removal improperly, repair, cutting, tearing, sanding, sawing, drilling, or scraping. Ensure asbestos-containing materials are checked for wear and damage over time, as well as examining them visually for signs of damage.
Don’t touch asbestos-containing materials if you suspect they contain asbestos. A tear, an abrasion, or water damage are signs of wear or damage. Asbestos fibers can leak from damaged materials. In particular, if it is subjected to frequent hits, rubbing, or handling, or if it is either subjected to extreme vibration or airflow, it will wear out.
Some asbestos-containing materials can be handled best when access is limited to the area and no touching or disturbing is allowed. A trained and accredited asbestos professional would need to repair or remove asbestos-containing material that is very damaged or that might be disturbed by making changes in your home. An asbestos detection as well as mold testing needs to be carried out by them to ensure that there is no damage and risk to you and your home.