The presence of asbestos in residential buildings is something to worry about, especially when the structures containing the substance begin to wear out. Experts advise that asbestos-containing structures or components should be left alone to prevent the spreading of fibers. However, a safe handling of asbestos in residential premises involve testing, dealing with the problems, and consulting an abatement professional for advice.
Safe handling of asbestos
Testing of asbestos
The first step in identifying the presence of asbestos is to carry out a professional testing of the substance. Asbestos is often off-white, but some less common varieties are blue or brown. The appearance depends on the binding material, which may be cement, asphalt, starch, or other forms of binders.
As a homeowner, you may not know whether your home contains asbestos until you involve a professional to find out. Against this backdrop, home inspection before buying a residential or commercial property is important. Upon verification by a reliable asbestos removal professional, you could occupy the premises with confidence, knowing that it’s asbestos-free and safe. The following are common areas in a residential property with asbestos presence.
Heating duct work
Some duct works contain a bigger percentage of asbestos while others such as metallic duct works may contain just a lining. However, poison is poison no matter the size. As such, the presence of asbestos in the ductwork should be a major concern to the homeowner. As the structure wears out, the asbestos fibers find their way into space, rendering environmental and health implications.
To save yourself from the worry of asbestos presence in your ductwork, it is advisable to consult a reliable professional. Upon identification, the entire ductwork may be removed, or the professional may suggest a better way for repair, such as encapsulation of the affected parts.
Plumbing pipes leading to steam heats of radiators may contain a significant percentage of asbestos. Such pipes often display a whitish, powdery surface. Upon earlier detection, a professional can suggest a repair or complete removal of the pipe.
Some wires have their insulation partly made of asbestos. Such wires have a whitish coating that tends to wear away upon disturbance. It is advisable to leave the wires alone during remodeling processes and when installing new wiring.
Artificial fire logs, especially the ones made before 1978 may contain a percentage of asbestos. This should be a concern to the homeowner, as the logs could release the asbestos ash when they burn. Before occupying a house, it is advisable to invite a professional to confirm that the fireplace and other components of the house are asbestos-free. If detected, the professional could recommend removal of the fireplace to replace it with a safer material.
Asbestos fibers can collect at the basement especially under the ductwork or plumbing piping. Involve a professional to clean the space. If you have to do it, use a wet mop. Do not vacuum or sweep the space as that may cause the fibers to spread. Other places where you could find asbestos include the walls and the ceilings.