Asbestos Exposure At Home

By | September 28, 2018

Risks Of Being Exposed To Asbestos During Home Improvement

Asbestos exposure in households

Drywall, insulation, siding, cement and caulk: this is only a partial list of those materials that might contain asbestos in your home. If your property was remodelled or constructed between the 40s and 75s, chances are it might contain some asbestos-building materials. These fibres are often found in insulation surround the pipes and boilers in the basement but might be anywhere in the attic or the shingles of your roof.

Newer houses pose less risk of asbestos exposure, but most modern materials are not necessarily asbestos-free. Some common components like vinyl tiles, insulation, and roofing might contain approximately 1 per cent of asbestos. The good news is that there is little chance of exposing this harmful component when you leave those parts in place. However, it is a different story when you want to remodel.

Asbestos exposure in DIY projects

Do-it-yourself home improvement projects might be a good way to upgrade your house with a tight budget. However, these tasks can also result in asbestos exposure, especially when you are not careful. A challenging aspect of asbestos exposure during home improvement projects is that many harmful effects do not usually show up until years later.

Sometimes you might think it is totally fine to take down a wall in your kitchen since you’ve already done this before and did not feel any problems at all. But that does not necessarily mean that you were not exposed to harmful asbestos during the remodelling tasks. The symptoms of lung cancer or mesothelioma caused by asbestos will take a few years or even decades to start showing up. So do not think the safety of a home renovation task by how you feel. Instead, take precautions.

Precautions against asbestos exposure

When you start a home improvement project, do not allow your enthusiasm to get ahead of common sense. Below are a few things you should stay away to avoid the exposure of harmful asbestos

  • Do not walk around your house in dusty boots or work clothes, especially when you’ve just worked around asbestos areas. Instead, keep in mind to put off and wet down clothes which might contain asbestos to prevent the fibres from getting to the air.
  • Do not try to get rid of asbestos on your own. The greatest risk of asbestos exposure shows up when you disturb materials in old properties.
  • Do not use a tool which stirs up dust in the area that might have asbestos. Sawing, drilling, and sanding can result in the asbestos exposure. Even sweeping or dusting would increase the chance of inhaling asbestos in the air.
  • Do not perform any demolitions before you have checked the site to know if there would be any signs of asbestos. When knocking down a wall, you might unintentionally release asbestos fibres, thus posing make threats to your family. Whenever in doubt, better call in a professional asbestos inspector, in this case Stolk Wollongong.