Our team at the Healthy Home Center are dedicated asbestos removal experts with years of practical experience in this line of work. We take no chances. In our many years of operation, we’ve seen this troublesome, hazardous material appear in a variety of forms. This is the case because, before asbestos was banned, it was thought of as a “miracle material” that provided low-cost insulation and fireproofing. Therefore, it was used in all sorts of products and components. Today, let’s explore some of the most common ones in more detail.
Floor and ceiling tiles are, to this day, one of the most commonplace materials where asbestos is found. This is because they were long-lasting and durable, not to mention capable of withstanding heat, making them an ideal choice at the time for everything from kitchen flooring to bathroom ceilings. Older, unrenovated homes with outdated floor and ceiling tiles are at the highest risk of containing this unwanted, unsafe mineral.
Adhesives and Sealants
Up until the eighties and as far back as the late 1800s, various forms of sealants, bonding agents and adhesives were manufactured using asbestos. Yet again, this was for its insulative capabilities. Therefore, especially in older homes, decades-old caulking, taping, putty and otherwise have the potential of containing asbestos that needs to be professionally remediated.
Since the plumbing in any home needs to be properly insulated to protect against freezing and bursting in the winter months, insulation including asbestos can still be found when upgrading or replacing pipes in older properties. This is not only bad for your health if the insulation fractures and introduces fibers to the airstream, but it could also taint your incoming water used for everything from washing dishes to showering, depending on which pipes are affected.
Fireproofing and Heat Insulation
Insulation in walls, ceilings, and subfloors is by far the most common source of asbestos, and it always needs to be removed professionally as soon as possible. Different types of asbestos were used in these materials, some very dangerous and others potentially lethal with even light-to-moderate exposure, so do yourself a favour and don’t take chances. If your home was built before the 1990s, get your insulation checked out by a certified asbestos remediation professional to determine an appropriate next course of action. Zonolite is one of the most commonly used types of vermiculite insulation, and even today we find it in attics many times a year.
Fire blankets, curtains, and even clothing are examples of textiles that used to include asbestos fibers for their insulation benefits. While manufacturing using the material stopped in 1990, it’s possible that your home may still contain older textiles containing these fibers. A professional air quality inspection can help determine whether this is the case.
Let’s say that you’ve got an old fridge, stove, or other appliance sitting in your garage or basement, either restored to working condition or going unused. Older appliances, especially those built between the fifties and seventies, typically contain high amounts of asbestos in their insulative features. As components wear and expose the asbestos to the indoor air, especially problematic in poorly ventilated environments, the risk to occupants steadily increases over time. You should call in a remediation professional to get these old appliances removed as not only are they unhealthy to have in your home, but they also consume a lot more energy. In that sense, removing them and upgrading to modern, eco-friendlier alternatives can lower your indoor particulate count and energy bills!
Ever hear of transite? This is a special mixture of cement and asbestos fibers. Among other products such as roofing sheets and water tanks, it was commonly used in cement mixture. The result was a construction material that was durable and resistant to corrosion, but it came with its own set of health and safety issues. This is especially the case when the cement begins to deteriorate and gradually break apart, resulting in asbestos fibers being introduced to the indoor airstream.
Asbestos minerals’ penchant for fire and heat resistance, along with its ability to be utilized in various ways including spray-on coverings, made it a prime pick for ceiling use. “Popcorn” ceilings and other spray-on alternatives were at the height of their popularity up until the early nineties, which means any homes or businesses built by that time are at risk. Attempting to remove a popcorn ceiling yourself is not advisable as doing so can release asbestos fibers into the air – you should instead always call in a remediation professional to ensure a safe, controlled removal.
If you want to say goodbye to asbestos as safely and effectively as possible, our team at the Healthy Home Center is here to help. Discover our asbestos remediation capabilities and other services today. Or, get in touch with us to schedule an inspection.