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Is There Asbestos Material in Your Home?

In recent years, asbestos has been deemed to be a product that is considered very dangerous that should not be handled by homeowners. This material was originally approved for home building due to its durability and fire resistant properties. Asbestos materials were used in many homes built between the 1930's through the 1970's time period.

Back during those days, asbestos was considered a wonderful product that was completely safe. This meant it was extensively used to create many raw materials used in the construction of numerous homes and buildings. Places such as businesses, schools, libraries and government buildings have had to be remodelled after discovery of this dangerous material.

What Are the Dangers of Asbestos?

Asbestos is a fibrous material that is fine when it is in solid form. However, over time, these materials can break down and cause tiny fibres to float around in the air. When the fibres are breathed into the lungs, they become lodged and can build up in the body. This leads to serious health problems.

Asbestosis

The fibres cause lung tissue to scar, which leads to breathing difficulties

Mesothelioma

This is a very serious cancer that debilitates the heart, lungs, mucus membranes, abdominal and chest lining. Persons that have extended direct exposure to asbestos are at a high risk of developing this condition.

Lung Cancer

A person experiences breathing difficulties, anaemia, coughing and chest pain.

How to Check if Your Home Has Asbestos

Asbestos may be inside of a home hidden away in common building material.

Fortunately, the risk of any home occupants being exposed to large doses of asbestos is relatively low if it is adequately contained within various materials. Due to the risk of breathing in toxins, it is important to know if ceilings, walls, pipes or roofing tiles contain the asbestos. Unknowingly demolishing affected materials is a public health risk.

Materials Register Chart

One way to mitigate risk to home occupants and any tradesmen doing construction or remodeling work is to provide a materials register chart. This simple chart allows anyone to easily identify specific areas in the home that should be checked for asbestos. Since it’s not possible to see this just by looking, the chart shows which areas have passed inspection and which contain danger.

Areas in the home that may contain asbestos are:

* Boundary Fences

* Ceilings

* Electrical Boards

* Floor Coverings

* Internal or External Wall Linings

* Insulation in Walls or Attics

* Plumbing Piping and Vents

* Roof Covers, Downpipes and Gutters

* Roof Eaves

* Roof Gables

In order to know for sure if there is asbestos in the home a thorough inspection needs to be performed. Experienced building inspection companies can do home asbestos inspections.

State and local governments have specific laws regulating the removal and disposal of asbestos from the home. Never attempt to remove asbestos materials on your own. There is a high risk of breathing in hazardous fibres. Instead, consult with a professional company that specializes in asbestos removal.

Asbestos inspection and removal is important to keeping homeowners healthy and safe.

About the author

This article was written by Brad Porteus, Managing Director of BSP Construction Consultants, based in Perth, Western Australia. You can find Brad on Google+ and LinkedIn as well.

 
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