Asbestos is a dangerous construction material that has been used in many home-related products for centuries. Its production was rampant in the early 20th century, but since the 1970’s it’s come under scrutiny for causing deadly diseases like mesothelioma and other types of cancer. It’s still not officially banned although the industry is much more regulated today. It’s important to be on the lookout for asbestos if you’ve recently purchased an older home to live in or to use as an investment property. Here are the steps you should take if you suspect that your property may have an asbestos problem.
Test the Problem Site
The first thing you should do is have a professional inspect the material you believe may contain asbestos. It’s can be difficult to detect to the untrained eye because it’s an odorless mineral that is used in construction materials that you often aren’t supposed to see. Common household materials that may contain asbestos include:
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Roofing and side shingles
- Heat-resistant fabric
- Hot water and steam pipes
Asbestos is heat resistant, making it an attractive material for anything that comes in contact with heat – such as the flooring around the oven or stove, the walls near the furnace, etc. It can be hard to identify with the naked eye, but if your home contains one of these materials that was installed in the 1970s or earlier, you may want to have it tested just to be sure.
Have it Properly Removed
Once you’ve had the material tested and your suspicions have been confirmed, you must take care of the problem immediately. At this point, you must hire a professional. The problem may be very serious, depending on how much asbestos is contained in the material and how prevalent it is in your home. You should not attempt to do the removal yourself. Unless you are a trained professional, you won’t know how to properly diagnose the problem areas and how to remove it without putting yourself in danger. There are strict state guidelines the dictate how asbestos should be removed to minimize the danger to those involved. Certified Asbestos abatement companies are available everywhere. A list of reputable asbestos removal companies by the state is available through the EPA.
Take the Appropriate Action
If you or your family have been put in danger by careless contractors or developers, you have a right to take action. Especially if the asbestos removal is expensive and impacts the resale value of your home. Either way, prolonged asbestos exposure can put someone at risk of experience health problems for years to come, even after the material has been removed. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant. Asbestos.net has resources available that can help educate you on your legal right and take action against any negligent companies that have put you in danger.
Asbestos is a serious problem in America and it’s important to be aware of its negative effects. But if you take action, you can mitigate the damage and save your family or tenants from being put in harm’s way.