Everything You Need to Know About Handling Asbestos in Your Home

Real Estate Blog

If you live in an older home, chances are you will find asbestos in the insulation, ceiling tiles, flooring, siding, shingles, and a myriad of other materials in the home. Many homeowners with asbestos in their homes do not know what to do with it. It's imperative that you handle asbestos with care, especially if you have a demolition or renovation project. Also, remember that while you may be a DIY enthusiast, you should leave any asbestos-related work to licensed asbestos management professionals. If you suspect or notice some parts of your home contain asbestos, here is what you need to know regarding how to handle it properly.

Why Should You Handle Asbestos Carefully?

Before you understand how to handle asbestos correctly, it's essential to be aware of the need to do this. Asbestos that is in good condition is usually not hazardous. In fact, it's often recommended to leave it alone. However, damaged asbestos material (sanded, sawed, scraped, etc.) can release asbestos fibres into the air. When inhaled, these fibres can cause lung diseases. It's for this reason that you need to proceed with caution, especially if you discover damaged asbestos in your home or you intend to take on a renovation project in your home that may disturb it.

What Should You Do Once You Discover Asbestos in Your Home?

As highlighted above, asbestos in good condition should not be disturbed. However, if it's already damaged, even slightly, or if you intend to make some changes that will disrupt it, you need to contact a licensed asbestos management company in your area. Dealing with asbestos can be a delicate affair, which is why only licensed professionals are allowed to handle it. You may apply for a permit to do it on your own, but your inexperience may put yourself and other people at risk.

Asbestos can either be repaired or removed. A licensed professional will evaluate the degree of damage and decide on the most suitable course of action. Repair often involves sealing or covering the asbestos material. Sealing, also known as encapsulation, is a treatment process involving using a sealant or encapsulate to coat the material or bind the fibres together and prevent the fibres from being released into the air. On the other hand, the aim of repairing by covering or enclosure is to create an airtight structure around the asbestos-containing material to prevent the fibres from being released.

Removal is ideal if you intend to get rid of all the asbestos-containing material. While a professional will advise you on the right measure to take, asbestos repair is often cheaper than the removal. However, removal of repaired asbestos later will be not only difficult but also costly.

Remember that before any removal or repair work starts, you need to have proper permits. Find out from your local council or licensed asbestos services concerning all the licences required.


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