Older homes in the Toronto area are likely to contain vinyl or sheet vinyl flooring. This type of flooring, widely popularized in the 1900s, was often manufactured with asbestos materials. We all know today that exposure to asbestos can cause cancer and other serious lung diseases. Still, most Toronto homeowners are not aware of all the places this hazardous material can hide.
Not all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are dangerous to health – the microfibrils inflict damage only once they are inhaled. If the ACMs are undamaged and well-maintained, the chances are there are no airborne asbestos microfibrils. However, some materials go through more wear and tear than others, and if they contain asbestos, the risk of contamination is very high. Flooring falls into this category for obvious reasons. If you have older vinyl flooring or plan to renovate/remove it soon, it is very important to seek a professional opinion beforehand. Skipping this step can put the health of the workers and your family at risk. Hiring an asbestos removal company in Toronto and getting an asbestos inspection by a Toronto company is the best way to ensure your home is safe.
Does Your Flooring Contain Asbestos?
Before it became widely known as a carcinogen, asbestos was commonly added to vinyl floor tiles and adhesives to increase durability and fire resistance due to its favourable physical qualities. This practice became extremely rare by the end of the 1980s, but many Toronto homes were constructed earlier. The older the house, the more likely it is that the flooring materials contain asbestos. However, it is not all that simple. It is important to note that not all materials include an equal amount of asbestos, and some are more sensitive to damage than others. Professional estimation can properly identify all ACMs in a given area, providing necessary information for later handling and removal. Considering the dangers of asbestos, this information is very important, especially if you plan to renovate or perform any other activity that will disturb the materials.
When Is Flooring Dangerous?
Even if your home contains asbestos vinyl flooring, it doesn’t always mean your indoor air is contaminated. Asbestos microfibrils are dangerous only when airborne, so the state of the material plays an essential role in the overall estimation of risk and choosing management methods. Heat, humidity, age and exposure to abrasion can damage flooring enough to release the microfibrils, but removal may not be required if the flooring is well-maintained.
Considering the microscopic size of the fibrils and differences in the types of asbestos, it is usually challenging for the average homeowner to correctly estimate the situation. The process requires professional training and adequate safety and testing equipment. Certified asbestos experts in Toronto can provide a complete inspection and map the areas that need encapsulation or removal. Visibly damaged vinyl flooring requires detailed examination because it could be releasing microscopic fibre-like asbestos crystals. These microfibrils can become airborne with even the slightest air movement, so any disturbance can create a serious health hazard.
What To Do About Asbestos in Your Toronto Home
Depending on the state and type of asbestos vinyl flooring present in your home, there are different solutions to the problem. If the material is in good condition, it is best to leave it where it is and ask a professional to encapsulate it to prevent any damage in the future. On the other hand, if there is visible damage, the area must be avoided and isolated if possible. Encapsulation can be a viable solution for slightly damaged flooring, but severe damage often entails professional removal. Toronto law views asbestos as a hazardous material that requires special handling and disposal, so it is best to reach out to a certified asbestos removal service.
If you suspect that your Toronto home contains asbestos flooring or any other type of ACM, the safest and most reliable way to find out is to get a professional inspection. Trained experts from Inch by Inch are always ready to provide quality service and make your home safer and healthier. Our certified staff respects your time and budget, ensuring the most efficient and thorough asbestos inspection service. Reach out to Inch by Inch today and schedule your inspection.