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Are you considering a home remodel or update? Is your home built before 1980? If so, you need to account for the possibility of asbestos-containing materials in your home. Removing or damaging these materials comes with possible serious health implications. Team Newman is here with some information on possible asbestos-containing materials that can be found in an older home.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral used in building materials for resistance to heat and corrosion. It is now recognized as a serious hazard to human health and regulated strictly by government organizations. Asbestos fibers can be inhaled and cause serious lung damage and disease. This is why it is important to identify asbestos risks, test and remediate before demolition is done in any home remodeling project.
The most common places to find asbestos in a residential property are textured wall surfacing, drywall joint compound, floor tiles, mastic, linoleum, and insulation. These materials should be tested prior to removal. If asbestos is detected, the removal of the items should be handled by a certified asbestos abatement contractor. At Newman Restoration & Cleaning, we have certified asbestos abatement contractors and inspectors.
One common project for a home update is to scrape off popcorn ceilings. Before scraping off any popcorn ceilings or textured wall coverings, it is imperative to have it tested for asbestos. It is common to find asbestos in textured wall coverings and the process of scraping them can create airborne asbestos fibers, which are very dangerous.
Another common home improvement project that can bring the risk of asbestos contamination is updating flooring. Floor tiles, linoleum, and the mastic underneath them can all contain asbestos. 9’x9’ and 12’x12’ tiles are the most common sizes for containing asbestos in pre-1980 homes. The process of removing tiles, linoleum, or the mastic underneath can release asbestos fibers. However, if these materials have not been damaged or compromised over time, they can often be left in place and covered by new flooring.
Asbestos can also be found in insulating materials. This includes insulation found in the walls, attics, and around pipes. It was common for pipes and boilers to be wrapped in asbestos insulation. Vermiculite attic insulation may also contain trace amounts of asbestos.
In addition to wall insulation, wallboard and wallboard systems can be asbestos-containing. The wallboard itself and the joint compound and tape are suspect materials for asbestos. It is important to have it tested before demolition. There are also miscellaneous materials around an older home that can be asbestos-containing. Roofing and siding, ceiling panels and tiles, and caulking are suspect materials.