Asbestos products were widely used in building construction for decades. It means that many homes may still contain remnants – and may experience home air quality issues that are compromised. For the most part, asbestos remains harmless if properly contained. Likely, your home air quality is unaffected. The problem, of course, is when asbestos particles are released and go airborne.
Asbestos is considered carcinogenic. While it’s not used in Canada any more, older homes may well contain asbestos in different forms – insulation board; roofing shingles; ceiling and/or floor tiles; even various types of cement. Today, Health Canada links serious health risks to a number of factors: the level of fibres in the air, the amount of exposure, and the frequency of exposure.
What Is Asbestos And How Might It Affect My Home Air Quality?
Asbestos is a natural rock primarily mined in Quebec. It comprises many fibres, which resemble very thin, sharp, needles. It’s only when the asbestos rock is crushed that the fibers are released into the air. Historically, many thousands of products contained asbestos. Any product with more than 1% asbestos is considered “asbestos containing”.
Asbestos is an excellent insulator – against heat, cold, and noise. Over the years, a wide range of building materials contained asbestos, and today, it’s not unusual to find asbestos in floor and ceiling tiles; pipe and boiler insulation; and all types of duct insulation. While quite effective at the time, these applications have been legally banned.
Asbestos poses a danger when it breaks down into small fibers (and goes airborne). This is when your home air quality can be compromised. As an example, sprayed ceiling insulation could fall from the ceiling over time, and asbestos particles could get into the air. This is certainly cause for alarm and a good reason to consider a removal strategy.
How Does Asbestos Affect Home Air Quality?
By any definition, there is no level of asbestos exposure that’s safe. When asbestos fibres are inhaled and/or ingested, personal health is compromised. The truth is, many people have been exposed to low levels of asbestos at some point or other. Those who have been exposed to higher levels of asbestos have an increased risk of illness/disease.
When it comes to home air quality, asbestos exposure will affect everyone in a different way and to a different degree. In general, it's considered safe to be around asbestos-containing materials as long as the material is well contained. In older homes, where asbestos building materials are present, it’s vital keep the materials completely undisturbed.
The best prevention against potential health risks is to reduce or eliminate any exposure. In our homes, it means identifying sources of residual asbestos, and taking necessary steps to remove the material safely. To be sure, this is not work for the inexperienced – asbestos removal must be left to professionals with the proper experience and expertise.
How Do I Know If Asbestos Is Affecting My Air Quality?
If there is any suspicion that asbestos is affecting the air quality of your home, it’s time to take action. The bigger question is about getting rid of it. If asbestos materials are left undisturbed, there isn’t any reason to make changes. However, if it’s decided that removal and repair are warranted, then it’s important to do it right – professionally!
With asbestos, ONLY a trained professional should perform removal or remediation. The process may well begin with a thorough inspection of the property, in order to determine if the indoor air quality has been compromised. In the event that residents display specific health symptoms, this could be a sure sign that asbestos fibres have become airborne.
Whether you are confronted with a major or minor repair, asbestos exposure always presents a risk. That’s why ALL repair and remediation work must be undertaken professionally. Any effort to perform a DIY job is highly discouraged. This is not the right time to save money with a DIY approach. It simply isn’t safe or suitable to deal with asbestos.
For Professional Asbestos Testing And Removal – Trust The Experts At InchByInch
If you suspect that your home air quality has been affected by asbestos-containing material, it’s better to be safe than sorry. At InchByInch, our crews are certified and trained in the removal and disposal of asbestos. We do it safely, and according to local, provincial and federal regulations.
Throughout the GTA, InchByInch provides comprehensive asbestos remediation services – from inspection to removal. Find out more about our services by calling 416-826-7172 or booking online.