Why You Should Test for Asbestos if Your Oakville Home Was Built Before 1990

While it wasn’t always the case, it's now widely understood that asbestos presents significant dangers. When asbestos exists in the air as minuscule particles and is breathed in, it becomes a health hazard. These microscopic fibres, invisible to the naked eye, can enter the lungs and become lodged, potentially causing various illnesses. This article examines the importance of asbestos inspections for older homes, particularly homes built before 1990, and investigates the factors surrounding asbestos removal in Oakville. By working with Inch By Inch Inspections, masters in asbestos testing in Oakville, you can free your home from the harmful effects of asbestos as well as other contaminants with our range of services including mold removal, odour removal, asbestos abatement, and more.

What is Asbestos?

Why You Should Test for Asbestos if Your Oakville Home Was Built Before 1990Asbestos is defined as a group of naturally found fibrous minerals recognized for their capacity to endure high temperatures and resist corrosion. Owing to these properties, asbestos has been utilized in diverse commercial items and building materials, including insulation, fireproofing products, car brakes, and wallboards. Inhalation of asbestos particles can increase the risk of severe illnesses such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Additionally, asbestos exposure may heighten the probability of developing cancers related to the digestive system, like colon cancer.

Why Homes Built Before 1990 Are at Risk

These minerals possess the ability to produce long-lasting, robust, and flame-retardant items. Before 1990, asbestos was predominantly employed in insulating structures and homes against cold and noise, as well as for fire protection. It was only upon recognizing the health risks associated with asbestos that regulations were implemented to prohibit its use in home construction. Consequently, older homes constructed before 1990 commonly contain asbestos-based materials. Thus, conducting asbestos inspections in older homes becomes crucial for safety.

The Dangers of Ignoring Asbestos Testing

Breathing in asbestos fibres can lead to their retention in the lungs for an extended period. Over time, these fibres can build up, causing scarring and inflammation, which can significantly affect breathing and potentially lead to serious health problems.

Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of:

  • Developing lung cancer
  • Asbestosis, which causes permanent lung damage.
  • Mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects the linings of the chest and abdomen.
  • Cancers in the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and throat (such as the larynx or oropharynx)
  • Scarring of the lining of the lungs
  • Pleural effusions, where fluid builds up around the lungs.
  • Addressing asbestos concerns promptly is crucial due to these severe health risks. You run the risk of these diseases if you purchase or renovate a property without asbestos testing in Oakville.

Asbestos Removal

Attempting asbestos removal on your own is never advisable due to the associated health risks and the potential violation of laws and regulations. Experts like Inch By Inch Inspections handle the task professionally by using specialized chemicals to dampen asbestos-containing materials, preventing further release of asbestos into the air. These materials are then meticulously disposed of using specialized equipment and transported to proper disposal sites. HVAC systems are utilized to filter and cleanse the air during removal. Ensure your safety and protect your home and loved ones by entrusting trained and licensed professionals to handle asbestos removal in Oakville.

Where Are Asbestos Hazards Present in Residential Settings?

  • Certain roofing and siding shingles utilize asbestos cement.
  • Residences constructed before 1990 might contain asbestos for insulation.
  • Textured paint and patching compounds applied to wall and ceiling joints could contain asbestos, though their usage was prohibited in 1977.
  • Artificial ashes and embers intended for gas-fired fireplaces might harbour asbestos.
  • Some older products like stove-top pads may contain traces of asbestos compounds.
  • Asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets may protect walls and floors around woodburning stoves.
  • Asbestos is present in certain vinyl floor tiles, as well as the backing of vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.
  • Hot water and steam pipes in older homes may feature asbestos coatings or be wrapped in asbestos blankets or tape.
  • Insulation in oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets might also contain asbestos.

Guidelines for Handling Asbestos in Your Home:

  • Minimize activities in areas with damaged material potentially containing asbestos.
  • Exercise caution to prevent damaging asbestos material.
  • Entrust removal and significant repairs to trained and qualified asbestos handlers. It's strongly advised that sampling and minor repairs be conducted by asbestos professionals.
  • Avoid dusting, sweeping, or vacuuming debris possibly containing asbestos.
  • Refrain from sawing, sanding, scraping, or drilling holes in asbestos materials.
  • Do not use abrasive pads or brushes on power strippers for removing wax from asbestos flooring. Avoid using a power stripper on a dry floor.
  • Do not sand or attempt to level asbestos flooring or its backing. When replacing asbestos flooring, consider installing new floor covering over it if feasible.
  • Prevent the spread of potentially asbestos-containing materials throughout the house. If unavoidable, clean the area with a wet mop. For damaged areas or extensive cleaning needs, seek assistance from an asbestos professional such as Inch By Inch Inspections.

How to Identify Materials Containing Asbestos

Determining whether a material contains asbestos isn't possible through visual inspection alone unless it's explicitly labelled. When uncertain, it's best to treat the material as if it contains asbestos or have it examined by a qualified expert. Professional sampling is crucial as professionals are trained to recognize asbestos-containing materials and to minimize health risks associated with fibre release. Improper sampling can exacerbate hazards, making it more dangerous than leaving the material untouched. Therefore, conducting sampling without professional assistance is not advisable. However, if you opt to take samples yourself, precautions must be taken to avoid releasing asbestos fibres into the air or onto yourself. It's important to leave undisturbed materials in good condition alone, reserving sampling for damaged materials. Those performing asbestos sampling should be well-informed about asbestos handling procedures and adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Ensure no one else is present in the sampling area.
  2. Wear disposable gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after sampling.
  3. Turn off heating or cooling systems to minimize fibre dispersal.
  4. Minimize disturbance to the material while taking a small sample.
  5. Lay a plastic sheet beneath the sampling area.
  6. Dampen the material with a fine water mist to reduce fibre release.
  7. Carefully extract a piece from the entire material depth using a sharp object and place it in a clean container.
  8. Seal the container tightly after sampling.
  9. Dispose of the plastic sheet properly and clean any residue around the sampling area.
  10. Label the container with an identification number and details of when and where the sample was taken.
  11. Cover the sampled area with a small piece of duct tape to prevent fibre release.
  12. Send the sample to an asbestos analysis laboratory accredited by NVLAP.

The Importance of Hiring a Professional cannot be emphasized enough. We highly recommend you work with certified experts in this field, such as Inch By Inch Inspections, instead of attempting this procedure on your own.

Trust the Certified Professionals for Asbestos Abatement Near You

After examining the significance of asbestos evaluations in older residences, it becomes evident how crucial these assessments are. Ensuring the safety of yourself and your loved ones from asbestos exposure is paramount, considering the severe health implications it poses. From conditions like asbestosis to lung scarring and potential cancer, the risks are grave. We strongly recommend commissioning an inspection by our experts at Inch By Inch Inspections for asbestos removal in Toronto and throughout the surrounding areas. This will ensure that your house is free from asbestos, granting you peace of mind regarding the safety of your home and its inhabitants.

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