Asbestos Removal For Older Homes: What Every New Homeowner Should Know

If you're a new homeowner who just purchased a home built between 1930-1990, have it tested and treated for asbestos, especially if you plan to renovate the home because it's in disrepair. Asbestos materials, such as attic insulation and paint, contain dangerous minerals that can cause cancer in the lungs and other body tissues. Your asbestos removal team can test, contain and remove the materials in your home. Here's how your contractor tests for asbestos in the home, how it's removed and what you may do to protect your home before the removal process.

Is There a Special Test for Detecting Asbestos in the Home and Should You Do It?

Asbestos testing isn't a simple process. Although there are asbestos testing kits you may purchase online, it's essential that you let your contractors perform the test for you. You want to reduce your exposure to the hazardous material as much as possible.

There are several types of asbestos minerals that may be found in older homes: blue, brown and white. The colors describe the appearances of the different types of asbestos fibers used in the past and today. Blue and brown asbestos minerals are more dangerous than white asbestos, which is still used in a great number of modern products, such as car parts, plumbing pipes and thermal insulation.

In addition to analytically, chemically and physically testing the materials in the home, your contractors may use the colors to determine the toxicity of the asbestos in your home. Keep in mind that if your home experienced flooding, mold growth or some other natural occurrence or change, the colors of the asbestos may also change inside the materials. This is why you shouldn't try to test the home yourself.

If the tests reveal asbestos in the home, the contractors will begin the removal process as soon as possible. 

What Happens During the Asbestos Removal Process?

Your asbestos removal contractors will ask you to vacate the home during the renovations for your safety. Your contractors should also follow Canada's strict removal and disposal laws regarding asbestos. Locations such as British Columbia require that homeowners and contractors secure asbestos-containing materials before they dispose of them.

The disposal of your home's asbestos materials may include placing them in biohazard containers, sealed storage containers or another type of protection. Your contractors may discuss the methods of the removal and disposal prior to beginning the cleanup job.

Your asbestos removers may use special chemicals to clean up the home after taking out the materials. The chemicals contain ingredients that may adhere to, attract or pick up the fibers and particles of asbestos.

What Can You Do to Protect the Inside of Your Home Before the Asbestos Removal Service?

You may need to remove or cover any furnishings in your home that you plan to use in the future. Placing tape along the home's floorboards, electrical outlets and other openings may help keep asbestos particles out of your living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and bathroom. Asbestos may enter these locations by traveling through the home's air.

If you choose to follow the tips mentioned above, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterward to limit your exposure to asbestos. Also, wear vinyl gloves, a facemask, eye goggles, and a smock that completely covers your clothing during your preparations. Your footwear must completely cover your feet and ankles as well. If possible, cover your hair and ears with a disposable, plastic cap.

Asbestos removal and testing aren't simple tasks to do on your own. If you want to know more about asbestos, contact a contractor today for more details.