Why You Should Check For Asbestos Before You Purchase a Home

By Statewide Demolition posted January 28th, 2021

How do you find asbestos in your house? And if you do have asbestos in your home, what is your game-plan to get rid of it? Before you buy a house, you need to do a thorough search for asbestos. This can be dangerous and lead to multiple health problems which includes cancer. This is a common occurrence for houses before the 80s, when asbestos was used to make floor and ceiling tiles, shingles, insulation, flashing and siding. 

How Is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos is toxic on its own, but once disturbed it gets released into the air and can cause serious health issues. If your home does have asbestos and you accidentally disturb it, the dangerous fibres can be discharged in the air which can be a vital health risk for anyone in the area.

As an example, if the asbestos insulation commonly used in furnaces or pipes gets damaged or begins to deteriorate, it will turn into asbestos dust. Let’s look at a blown ceiling as another example. If it contains asbestos, fibres will release into the air when patching or drilling. If your ceiling is already in bad condition, just any movement from fans can create asbestos dust. The pipes which supply water to your home can contain asbestos too, and when these pipes begin to deteriorate, it will be released into your drinking water.

To minimise risk to yourself and those around you, use an asbestos removal company

How Do You Check Your Home For Asbestos?

Unfortunately, it is difficult to spot just by looking at it, and will need a more thorough inspection. The right way to check for asbestos is to hire an asbestos removal or demolition company that specialises in detecting and removing asbestos. They will take samples of the dangerous areas in your home which they suspect contains asbestos. These specialists then take the samples of asbestos to a certified laboratory which analyses and verifies the presence of asbestos. The two approved methods used are Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) or Polarised Light Microscopy (PLM).

The National Institute for Standards and Technology has listed all of the labs that can perform TEM and PLM analysis. Even though you can find detailed guides to gather samples on your own from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we do not recommend it. Asbestos removal companies take numerous steps to ensure the safety of their workers, and are specifically trained to minimise risk. Without this expertise, you could put yourself and others around you in danger. This is why the American Lung Association recommends you to hire a qualified and accredited specialist to take samples for you. 

What To Do If There Is Asbestos In Your Home?

The method and technique used to remove the asbestos comes down to a variety of factors, including the location of the asbestos and the condition of the material. If the material is friable, the asbestos can easily become airborne and should be treated with caution. If it is non-friable, then it is unlikely that the asbestos will release into the air unless it is damaged in a particular way such as being cut or sanded down.

Asbestos doesn’t necessarily need to be removed right away, but with each passing day the risk increases. When purchasing a new home, we recommend hiring a professional asbestos removal company to take a look at it first. 

For a quick quote, get in touch with Statewide Demolition today.