Asbestos is a naturally-occurring silicate mineral, composed of long, fibrous crystals. Each fiber is made up of extremely small fibrils that are prone to becoming airborne because of damage or abrasion. There are six types of asbestos which differ in their colour, structure and amount of contaminants. Because of its favourable insulating qualities, asbestos was often used in older homes for insulation meaning many homes today should perform professional asbestos testing in Toronto to ensure their home is safe.
Asbestos was also often mixed with concrete to improve its heat resistance, without increasing its weight. It was commonly used for making materials like floor and ceiling tiles, house siding, plaster, pipe insulation, brake pads and roof shingles. When it was discovered that airborne asbestos fibrils can cause a variety of serious health problems with long-term exposure, its use in construction was banned in many countries. However, there are still many buildings in Toronto that were constructed before its use was limited in 1979.
Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos fibrils are quite sharp, and when inhaled, they create microscopic incisions in the lung tissue. This usually results in permanent scarring and inflammation. Long-term exposure to airborne asbestos fibrils can lead to very serious pulmonary diseases and certain types of cancer. It usually takes a few decades for the symptoms to manifest, making this problem very hard to detect on time, and the damage is often irreversible. Considering the high number of old buildings, asbestos testing is very important in Toronto.
What Are the Signs of Asbestos Contamination?
Asbestos is harmless as long it is not airborne, so it is advised to inspect the materials that could contain it – pipe insulation, floor and ceiling tiles (especially vinyl tiles), house siding, roof shingles, etc. Always wear adequate safety equipment when you enter a room that is suspected to be contaminated with asbestos. This includes coveralls, gloves and respiratory protection. Move very slowly to not disturb the fibrils that might have accumulated on the floor. If you find any damages on the materials, it is very likely that your home is contaminated with asbestos.
However, there is a better and simpler way to find out whether your home is contaminated – asbestos testing. A professional test can correctly determine the levels of asbestos in your home and its potential sources. Testing for asbestos is especially important if you live in an older building in Toronto, or you want to move into a building that was constructed before the 90’s, as these places are more likely to have this problem.
How to Remove Asbestos?
If the test turns out positive, asbestos abatement will be necessary. Considering the harmful long-term effects of this mineral, it is of utmost importance to remove it from your home environment. The best way to do this is to hire a professional home remediation company, as they are equipped with gear and knowledge to perform the removal thoroughly and safely. If you are looking for asbestos abatement in Toronto, reach out to Inch by Inch Inspections. Its trusted, experienced staff offers high quality service that is also friendly to your budget. Call today to schedule your inspection.