Inch by Inch Inspections provides professional, asbestos testing and inspections. Our inspection will include a complete visual examination, and the careful collection and lab analysis of samples. If asbestos is present, our inspector will provide a written evaluation describing its location and extent of damage, and give recommendations for correction or prevention.
One of the inspections that your home may require is for asbestos. Any home below the third floor of a multi-level, multi-family dwelling needs to be checked for both. Both are usually found in homes built before 1989.
You can’t tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labeled. If in doubt, treat the material as if it contains asbestos, or have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified professional. A professional should take samples for analysis, since a professional knows what to look for, and because there may be an increased health risk if fibers are released. In fact, if done incorrectly, sampling can be more hazardous than leaving the material alone. Taking samples yourself is not recommended. If you nevertheless choose to take the samples yourself, take care not to release asbestos fibers into the air or onto yourself. Material that is in good condition and will not be disturbed (by remodeling, for example) should be left alone. Only material that is damaged or will be disturbed should be sampled.
Asbestos is a heat and fire resistant material that was used before 1989 in homes to insulate heating pipes. It is made up of long fibers that are smaller than what can be seen by the eye and they can be breathed in. They are so small, in fact, that they can be sucked into an air filter and passed right back out of a vacuum cleaner. Asbestos fibers can become lodged in internal body tissues when they are breathed in and this can cause cancer. Most people will develop no symptoms unless they are exposed to high amounts of asbestos. The inspection will determine if the asbestos is deteriorating and causing a problem and needs to be removed.
Health risks of asbestos
Breathing in asbestos can cause lung cancer and other serious lung diseases. If you are concerned about possible exposure to asbestos, talk to your health-care professional.
How is asbestos harmful to your lungs?
When asbestos is cut, grounded up or disturbed, asbestos fibers can fly into the air and stay there for a long time. When you breathe in, asbestos fibers can get stuck deep in your lungs. The fibers damage the alveoli, the tiny air sacs at the end of your breathing passages, deep in your lungs. Normally your alveoli inflate and deflate like a balloon, taking in oxygen and getting rid of carbon dioxide. Healthy alveoli are nice and stretchy. Asbestos causes damage and scarring (fibrosis) so your alveoli become stiff, not stretchy. When your alveoli are stiff your lungs have a harder time taking in oxygen, and the muscles in your chest have to work harder to force the air in and out of your lungs.
Asbestos also increases the risk of developing lung cancer, especially in those who have smoked.
Is asbestos still in use?
These days, only a small number of products sold in Canada contain asbestos. Asbestos may be still used in brake linings, clutch facings and some roof shingles. Asbestos is regulated in Canada by the federal government’s Hazardous Products Act.
Nowadays, Canadians are most often exposed to asbestos when they’re working in an industry that makes or uses asbestos products, or when they are knocking down or fixing old buildings. People who work near asbestos should use special equipment and have special training on how to limit their exposure. Handling material that contains asbestos is not a job for a do-it-yourselfer; it requires the expertise and the equipment of a professional. If you are planning to repair or seal a building that may contain asbestos, hire an experienced contractor with specialized training in how to handle and remove asbestos.
Although asbestos is banned for use in most Canadian products, it is still mined here in Canada and it is still exported and widely used in other countries. This means millions of people around the world are exposed to asbestos and at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
How to check for, or prevent asbestos exposure in your home?
If you are buying a new home, or doing a renovation project in a home built before the 1980s, you may be putting yourself at risk for asbestos exposure without even knowing it. Asbestos may be found in wall insulation, insulation around hot-water and steam pipes, soundproofing and decorative materials on the walls and ceilings, ironing board pads, textured paint, roofing and siding shingles, vinyl floor tiles and other items in your house. You do not need to remove these products, as long as they are not damaged or falling apart. If the material is damaged, do not remove it yourself – removing or disturbing the asbestos will release the asbestos fibers into the air.
Call Inch by Inch Inspections to schedule your residential or commercial property asbestos inspection in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Tony did an excellent job with inspecting the house. He was very knowledgable in his field and thorough with his inspection. He carefully and patiently looked at both the exterior and interior of the building. He pointed out the deficiencies, what the risks are and how to rectify them. He answered all of our questions and made sure that we understood them. He offered his expertise and help if we needed.
I have heard a lot of stories about home inspection but I could honestly say that I had a great experience. I would like to thank Tony from Inch by Inch Home Inspection for the great experience. A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Tony through my realtor. I want to thank Tony for taking the time to answer any questions and any concerns I had about my home inspection.
Tony Muscat of Inch by Inch Inspections is extremely professional, caring and a prompt individual, when he heard we may have a mould problem he came immediately. Tony was worried with the level of mould that was contained in this recent purchased older home and he walked me through the process of getting rid of the mould and what dangers were involved. He paid the best attention to us, while we went through this horrible ordeal. The fact that impressed me the most was his vast amount of knowledge, and the dangers of each mould which there are many. He is extremely professional and equipped to handle any job. I would recommend Inch by Inch, (Tony) to anyone he is a concerned and serious individual, that cares about your family!!!!!!!
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