Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral that is composed of thread-like crystals. Each crystal fiber consists of tiny, microscopic fibrils that can become airborne due to abrasion or damage. Asbestos was a widely used material in construction for the most of 20th century until it was confirmed that its fibrils cause serious respiratory issues and cancer. Many buildings in Toronto that were built before 1990 include this harmful mineral, which is why asbestos abatement in Toronto is highly advised if you live in an older building.
Where Can I Find Asbestos in My Home?
Asbestos was mainly used for making fire-resistant materials and insulation due to its favourable physical qualities. It was also often mixed with cement to enhance its fire-resisting properties without increasing its weight. Asbestos can be widely found in materials like:
- Floor and ceiling tiles
- House siding
- Brake pads
- Roof shingles
- Heat-resistant fabrics
- Pipe insulation
If any of these materials get damaged, they might release asbestos fibrils into the air. These particles are invisible to the naked eye, so the best way to know whether your home is safe is to test for asbestos.
Why Should You Test Your Home for Asbestos?
There are three main reasons why your home might need asbestos testing:
1. Health Safety
Chronic exposure to asbestos microfibers leads to their accumulation in the lungs. The fibers have sharp edges that cause microscopic cuts on the lung tissue. These cuts create chronic inflammation and result in scar tissue formation, commonly known as pulmonary fibrosis (PF). PF can significantly reduce lung capacity and make breathing more difficult.
Depending on the amount and length of exposure, the affected people can develop permanent lung damage, or in severe cases, rare and aggressive types of cancer, like mesothelioma. The biggest problem is that asbestos fibers are not visible to the naked eye, and the first symptoms usually occur decades after the exposure.
2. Remodelling and Renovation
If you plan to renovate your home and give it a new look, asbestos abatement will be most likely necessary. Disturbing building materials can release the harmful fibers into the air, which is why it is important to properly remove and dispose of these materials before adding new elements.
3. Selling or Buying a New Property
If you are buying a home in an older building, it is highly advised to test for asbestos to make sure that your new home is safe. If you are selling, you can increase the value of your property by having it tested, and if tests turn out positive, by removing asbestos. Hiring a professional asbestos abatement company to do this is the best solution, as it guarantees the safest removal, and you will get an official confirmation that your home is asbestos-free.
If you are looking for a trusted home remediation company that will perform asbestos testing in Toronto safely, thoroughly, and at a fair price, reach out to Inch by Inch Inspections. Inch by Inch’s experienced, pleasant inspectors offer their service all over Toronto and the GTA, so call today and schedule your inspection.