Asbestos In Buildings
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks and soil. Mined for thousands of years, asbestos’ large-scale industrial use dates back to the 19th Century. Heat and fire retardant, it wasn’t long before it began to be integrated into construction materials. The often fatal effects of long-term asbestos exposure were discovered quite early. Yet, its widespread use in building construction continued for many decades after.
The US Geological Survey reported that US asbestos use has fallen by 99.9% since its high in 1973, and in 1989 the USA banned virtually all uses of asbestos. Still, the EPA estimates that a large majority of the USA’s public and commercial buildings contain asbestos products.
If your house was built before 1989, it might well contain asbestos too. Where is it found? Common places are attic and wall insulation, drywall, vinyl floor tiles, roofing, and siding shingles. Even old hot water pipes could be lagged with asbestos.
It’s important to remember that if asbestos is present in your home, it is not a danger unless disturbed in some way. When asbestos is drilled or sanded during renovation work, it causes invisible asbestos fibers to be released into the air. These can linger for hours and present a serious respiratory hazard to workers and residents alike.
For example, old drywall containing asbestos presents a risk to those cutting up the panels or sanding. The asbestos fibers released are tiny and jagged like needles; a paper dust mask won’t help you.
If you intend to do any remodeling, even light DIY, and you suspect asbestos is present, it’s best to carry out a professional survey first.
KOD Restoration and Construction’s skilled team can determine for you whether your home or office contains asbestos. We can assess the risk of releasing fibers into the air by the nature of the work intended. We can then draw up a plan that will minimize risk to workers and also non-workers using the property.
Don’t take a risk with your health, or your family’s or employees’ health. Even brief exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to serious health problems 20 or 30 years down the line. These include lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
Call KOD Restoration and Construction today about your property renovation plans. Our team of skilled professionals will advise you on the best way to proceed, and help take the anxiety out of asbestos.