Renovating an old home can be an exciting project with many rewards, it can also have many downsides, such as encountering problems you hadn’t budgeted for. One issue you will likely find in homes built during or before the 1970s is asbestos. Why is it such a problem and what should you do if you discover it?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that, because of its ability to add strength to a material, provide heat insulation and deliver fire resistance, was added to building materials and used in different areas of construction before the dangers of it were known. Why is asbestos so dangerous? Asbestos fibers are very small and easily released into the air. When inhaled these small fibers adhere to the lungs and stay there for a long time. Being exposed to asbestos fibers for prolonged periods has been linked to many serious diseases such as Asbestosis which is fibrous tissue that scars the lungs and, Mesothelioma, cancer that affects the abdominal cavity and chest lining.
When renovating a home, you can become exposed to asbestos fibers by handling materials that contain it such as when you are tearing up walls and flooring, etc. This can release asbestos fibers into the air which will produce a hazardous environment. If you do discover asbestos in your home it is very important that you do not try to take care of the problem yourself. Asbestos should be handled by professionals who are trained to safely remove and dispose of it.