Asbestos - A consumer's guide on what to do!
If you are in a home built before the1980's, there is a good chance you may run into asbestos. Asbestos, a mineral fiber, is only a cause for concern when it is disturbed and becomes airborne. Below is a guide on what to do when you find asbestos in your home!
How to Spot it
Asbestos isn't visible to the naked eye. If you suspect you have materials in your home that contain asbestos, don't touch it! If it is undisturbed, it isn't harmful. Just keep a close eye on it. Materials that are in good condition, and that won't be disturbed during a renovation, should be left alone. If you see water damage, abrasions, or any kind of damage, then that is the time to have it tested and removed by a professional.
If you are unsure whether a material contains asbestos or not, treat it as if it does for your own safety and get it tested and removed as soon as you can.
What to do Next
Asbestos should always be taken care of by a professional. A professional will do an inspection and take samples of suspected materials to then send to a lab for testing. Taking samples yourself isn't recommended, as this can do more harm than good if done incorrectly.
Once the presence of asbestos is confirmed, there are two options: repairing or removal.
The two most common forms of repairing are sealing and covering. Sealing is done by putting a sealant on the material that either binds or coats the asbestos fibers to prevent them from being further released. Covering is putting something over the material that contains asbestos to prevent further release of the fibers. When repairing, the asbestos remains in place. If removal is required in the future, past repairing efforts may make it more difficult and costly to remove. It is strongly recommended that all repairs should be done by a trained professional.
Removal is usually considered the last option, unless required by local regulations, as this poses the greatest risk of fibers being released. Removal may be required during a remodel project. It could also be necessary if the material containing asbestos is damaged beyond repair. Removal should always be done by a trained professional.
When you have suspected or confirmed the presence of asbestos, there are some things to keep in mind. Do not saw, sand, or drill holes into any suspected material. Dusting, sweeping, or vacuuming needs to be avoided, as this can further spread the asbestos fibers.
Local Asbestos Abatement Companies
If you are in the Des Moines area, below are a few companies that can handle your asbestos removal needs.
REW Services Corporation - Des Moines, IA
Waddle Exteriors - Story City, IA
From all of us here at Eden and Gray Design Build - Be safe!!