Although its harmful properties are well-known today, asbestos was a common building and insulating material in the past. Especially in properties dating from the 1930s -1970s, asbestos is often found. The general rule of thumb is: if the building dates from before 1980, assume there’s asbestos somewhere. But don’t panic! Our team at AccuSpect Inspections has years of experience in inspecting for the presence of asbestos. If you are planning to buy an older home, give us a call first at (734) 467-7328 or schedule an inspection online.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral that was valued for a number of properties: sound absorption; resistance to heat, fire and electricity; insulation; and affordability. Until it was discovered to be highly toxic when inhaled, it was commonly used in building materials in the United States. Despite how dangerous it is, asbestos is still being mined and used in many other countries around the world.
Where Is Asbestos Found in Homes?
Even if your home has products or materials known to have asbestos, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in immediate danger. Asbestos is dangerous when it is damaged or disturbed in some way, which then releases the fibers into the air. So it’s important to be aware of its potential presence in order to avoid damaging the areas. Here are some common places where asbestos may be found in homes:
- Ceilings: popcorn ceilings, ceiling tiles
- Flooring: vinyl tiles, some floor tiles, select adhesives, carpet underlay
- Siding: shingles, stucco, Transite
- Insulation: wall, attic, materials around pipes, electrical wires, HVAC units
- Adhesives: some joint compounds, cement, caulk
How Is Asbestos Removed?
Rule #1: this is NOT a DIY job. The Environmental Protection Agency has strict regulations regarding the handling and disposal of asbestos. If during the inspection we believe asbestos is present in the home, we’ll help you arrange for a testing service to confirm its presence. (They will need to use microscopes and other lab equipment). From there, you’ll receive a recommendation that may involve either disposing or encapsulating the materials, or leaving them alone if they are in good condition and unlikely to deteriorate. Questions? Contact us!