AMS Inspection Services is a home inspection company based out of Leavenworth, WA, with inspectors in Seattle, Wenatchee and throughout Chelan and Douglas counties. AMS Inspection performs blower door tests for contractors in new construction projects. The following blog is a guest submission.
Home remodeling can be an inexpensive way for hands-on homeowners to personalize their space, but in many buildings it can also be a way for homeowners to be exposed to asbestos.
Most homes built before the 1980s were constructed with asbestos-containing construction products. Wallboard, paint, pipes, carpeting and tape were just a few of the most common materials that were made with asbestos. Other asbestos-containing materials that were popular before asbestos regulations were enforced include:
- Popcorn ceiling finishes
Believe it or not, many of these products remain in homes today. Although these products do not pose any health risks while left intact, home renovations can easily disturb the asbestos and release it into the air. If this occurs, all of the home’s occupants are at risk of inhaling the fibers. This, in turn, puts them at risk to develop an asbestos-related disease.
Even with the high prevalence of asbestos in older homes, homeowners can safely remodel their property if they take several basic precautions.
How to Avoid Asbestos Exposure during Home Renovations
Before you begin any home renovations, you should hire a licensed asbestos professional to come out to your home and perform a thorough asbestos inspection. The abatement contractor can identify areas in your home that might contain asbestos, and then take small samples for laboratory evaluation.
The inspection will help you recognize which products you should not handle on your own and which are safe to freely renovate.
If asbestos-contaning products are found in your home, do not attempt to remove them on your own. A professional company should be hired to ensure that all fibers are safely removed from the area. Seeing as, you do not want to take the chance of developing an asbestos related cancer.
A construction contractor with a license in handling asbestos can also perform renovations on asbestos-containing products. These contractors will be able to remove or remediate the asbestos before remodeling the area.
(For example, they can cover asbestos cement with asbestos-free floor tiles, simultaneously addressing the asbestos problem and providing the homeowner with a remodeled floor). Before hiring one of these contractors, however, homeowners should verify their asbestos licensure with the state.
Author bio: Faith Franz is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care.