Now more than ever it seems what you can’t see, smell, taste or feel, can and will hurt you. We have all heard about the risks associated with lead paint and radon but one thing not often discussed is asbestos in private homes. Keep reading if you think you may have an asbestos problem.
Asbestos first became popular as construction material due to its resistance to fire, heat, electrical damage and its soundproofing capabilities. Plus it was very cost efficient allowing it to be used in everything from insulation to siding material, window caulking and even paint, vinyl floor tiles and the glue used to secure them. The large majority of all homes constructed in the United States from the mid 1940’s through the late 1980’s probably to this day, still contain asbestos materials. It is alleged that even though asbestos was banned in the late 1970’s many builders and developers continued to use it until a total ban went into effect in 2003.
While generally not a health hazard unless disturbed, once asbestos fibers are released they can cause numerous debilitating diseases. If due to the age of your home you think you have asbestos materials the best thing to do is to leave them alone if they are in good condition. When remodeling as long as these materials aren’t cut, sanded, drilled, scraped or torn, they should be fine. Though they will need to be checked periodically to ensure they aren’t showing signs of water damage or age related deterioration.
If you believe you have asbestos damaged materials in your home do not touch them. If at all possible close off the area including shutting all HVAC vents and then call an asbestos remediation professional or industrial hygiene specialist. There is no simple in-home test for asbestos. If asbestos is suspected due to the age of the home and materials involved and the area has been disturbed, then samples will be taken and sent to a certified lab for testing. If the report comes back positive, a certified asbestos professional will need to be contacted so a removal and/or clean-up plan can be put in place.
Getting ready to sell your home? Call Carolina RES at 864.242.1099 before calling your Realtor. Carolina RES: your one and only source for all your real estate service needs.