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How and Where to Check for Asbestos in Your Home

If you’re living in a home built before 1980, there’s a very good chance that it contains asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was prized for its insulating properties. Manufacturers used it in a variety of building materials, such as floor tiles, roofing shingles, and insulation.

Today, we know that frequent exposure to airborne asbestos can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer. That’s why the EPA banned the manufacture of asbestos in 1989.

Fortunately, asbestos does not present any real health hazards unless it’s disturbed. That’s why you need to be cautious when renovating your home. DIY renovations are one of the most common ways homeowners come into contact with the material.

Here’s Where Asbestos Could Be in Your Home

Flooring: Asbestos was a popular additive in vinyl tile flooring. If the flooring was installed between 1920 and 1960, it’s very likely that the tiles contained asbestos. Many of the tiles during that period measured 9-inches by 9-inches. If your floor meets that description, have it tested by an asbestos remediation specialist. If it’s confirmed that it contains asbestos, you have a couple of options:

  • Have it professionally removed. Hazard clean-up professionals are equipped and trained to remove asbestos safely, following strict protocols.
  • Live with it. Provided the flooring is intact and hasn’t damaged during the remodel, you can leave it be. You can also consider covering over it with another flooring material.

Pipes and HVAC ducts: Asbestos insulation was commonly used in boiler pipes and HVAC ducts. Sometimes even the ducts themselves were made of asbestos. If this material is in your home, consider having it professionally removed or encased in a protective barrier.

Ceilings: Popcorn ceilings, popular in the 80s, commonly contained asbestos. Likewise, textured paint and tiles were made of the material.

Turn to the Professionals

As stated above, asbestos is not a health concern unless building materials containing it are destroyed during a remodel, sending the fibers airborne. Before tacking any major home improvement project, contact a hazard mitigation pro to locate and remove asbestos safely. To schedule your appointment with Cut N Dry Restoration, call (909) 829-5002.