Many of us are aware that asbestos is considered a toxic mineral to have in our houses, but few of us know whether or not asbestos is still present in our home. As a rule of thumb, homes that were built before 1986 in Canada typically contained asbestos in the drywall. However, there are some deviations to the rule. Disturbing the drywall by tearing it down, installing fixtures, or cutting into it can release toxic asbestos fibres into your home if you’re not careful. So it’s important to find out if you’re at risk – especially if you plan to remodel your home. Follow this short guide below to find out if there’s asbestos in your drywall and how to renovate safely.
How To Identify Asbestos?
Age Of Your Home
Asbestos was commonly used in drywall after the 1930s. It became a popular material in building construction because it was affordable; it had exceptional insulation properties; it could effectively absorb sound, and improve fire resistance and durability. It wasn’t until 1986 that asbestos was found to be dangerous after a series of lawsuits were filed in relation to workers dealing with asbestos getting sick. This led to numerous bans across the globe. However, homes built between 1930 and 1990 are still likely to contain asbestos today and should be tested.
Type of Joint Compound
Joint wall compound that is commonly used to close off the seams between drywall panels also contained asbestos between 1940 and 1990. This pre-mixed paste came in a bucket, can or as dry powder and was used to join the gypsum boards together. Any homes constructed or renovated during these dates may contain asbestos-based materials and should be inspected by a professional for signs of deterioration.
You can also check the construction materials to see if they have any safety labels outlining the levels of asbestos. If there’s no label, it’s likely that the products are made before a long time exposure to asbestos was identified as a health concern.
How To Test For Asbestos
Drywall with and without asbestos looks the same, so the only way to officially know if you have asbestos in your home is to have it tested at a lab. There are a number of DIY kits on the market, but since there’s a risk of releasing asbestos dust when obtaining the sample, it’s best to leave this step to a professional. They will know how to safely handle the sample and how much should be obtained to perform a proper reading.
What To Do If Your Drywall Has Asbestos
Asbestos left intact and undisturbed is usually not a safety concern. However, if you plan to remodel or renovate your home, it’s important to have it removed by a professional. Inhaling asbestos dust can cause serious health effects, which is why it should only be removed by a trained expert. Contractors can also ensure that the drywall is properly disposed of to prevent any further environmental concerns.
The bottom line is that you can’t know for sure if you don’t test for asbestos. If you suspect that your home has asbestos in the drywall, we can help! Our team at the Healthy Home Center in Ottawa will inspect, test, and remove any asbestos from your home. All you need to do is contact us, and we’ll have one of our specialists visit your home and give you an estimate for the removal and cleanup if asbestos is found to be present. Our technicians are fully trained and certified to remove asbestos, mould, fine particles and other contaminants that can affect your indoor air quality. So don’t wait. If your home likely has asbestos, call us, and we’ll help eliminate the threat today!