The word "asbestos" can be very alarming for any homeowner, as the substance is associated with many serious health concerns and even some forms of cancer. If you've been told that you have asbestos on your property, you'll want to talk to a removal expert as soon as possible, but note a few misconceptions that are common about this substance. This will ensure you know your choices for handling asbestos safely.
Asbestos is not always dangerous
Having asbestos come into contact with your skin is not necessarily dangerous, and it's not dangerous to simply have it in your home or on your property. The material is dangerous only when it becomes airborne and you inhale the fibres. However, this doesn't mean you should try removal or cleanup yourself simply by wearing some breathing protection. Those fibres can be very small and may cling to your clothes and shoes or even your skin and then become airborne after you assume cleanup is completed.
Any home could have asbestos
The use of asbestos as an insulating material was made illegal in many areas when it was discovered how dangerous the material is and the hazards it poses for health; however, this material may still be used in other applications around the home. It may be added to adhesives including grout and certain glues, in plaster, ceiling tiles, or on auto parts. It can also be found in the soil outside your home!
Don't assume that your home doesn't have asbestos because this material is not in the attic or wrapped around plumbing pipes, but note that renovation projects can mean loosening this asbestos from other areas, including those glues and adhesives, and then creating a health hazard. Note, too, that the fibres may become airborne from surrounding properties and then may settle on your property, so it's good to have the home inspected for asbestos before any renovation or repair project.
Your home doesn't need to be demolished
Finding asbestos in the home doesn't mean it needs to be demolished. An asbestos removal specialist can clean up certain areas of the home, or you may need sheets of drywall or ceiling tiles removed and replaced. If the material is found in the soil, that section of your property can be dug up and removed and new fill dirt used in the area. An asbestos removal contractor can ensure you know all your options for removing or containing this substance with minimal disturbance to your home.