If you live in a home that was built before 1980, the odds are fairly high that your home was built using products that contain asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral fiber that is undetectable by the human eye. However, when inhaled, asbestos fibers can accumulate in the lungs and eventually cause lung cancer and mesothelioma. It may take decades for illnesses caused by asbestos exposure to appear, and mesothelioma in particular is very difficult to treat.
Once the effects of asbestos inhalation were becoming better understood, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s, there was a major push to remove asbestos insulation from buildings, especially schools and hospitals. Asbestos insulation removal was no small undertaking, as many types of insulation and other products used in construction as recently as the 1970s contained asbestos. Between its ability to insulate and its resistance to fire, it’s little wonder that asbestos was such a common addition to construction products and in such high use.
When do you need to be concerned about asbestos?
With all the attention paid to the horrors of asbestos and the urge to remove it from as many buildings as possible, you can be forgiven for assuming that you need to worry about being exposed during your day-to-day life. However, removing insulation that contains asbestos is not an absolute necessity. For asbestos to pose a true hazard, it needs to have been disturbed in a way that sends the fibers into the air and leaves people at risk of inhaling them.
Unfortunately, there are some pretty common ways in which you can inadvertently create an asbestos hazard. There are two main situations in which asbestos exposure becomes a risk: during renovations and remodels and during home demolition. Disturbing the asbestos fibers, by drilling, cutting or otherwise handling the insulation, does create a risk, and it’s best to leave this activity to an experienced team of professionals.
Have your home inspected before doing any work
The best way to avoid unnecessary exposure to asbestos is by having your home inspected prior to starting any major home improvement projects that may disturb your insulation. This includes having old insulation replaced. Most products containing asbestos should be labeled as such, but to be on the safe side, it’s best to have a professional inspect and test any insulation you’re uncertain about before you begin any project.
In the event that your insulation does contain asbestos, and you’re planning a project that will involve disturbing the insulation, you’ll want to hire a professional team to handle insulation repair, removal and cleanup. This is a difficult and labor-intensive process requiring special equipment and the imposing of serious safety precautions. Although it may be an inconvenience, it’s far preferable to suffering from life-threatening health problems in the future.
When you need to have old insulation removed from your home, either because it’s damaged or because it is no longer properly functioning, call Chase Insulation. We are well versed in safe and thorough insulation removal, and can also install new insulation in its place. Let us handle all of your home insulation needs—call us today!