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It's important to know when to get an asbestos inspection for many reasons, primarily for compliance with local regulations within your region. This is also vital for the health of your family and others living on your property.
Getting an asbestos inspection is vital for your safety and protection. It is also great because it will ensure you don't unnecessarily spend on repairs and other tests. In this article, we'll take you through everything you should know about asbestos and when you should get asbestos inspections.
What Is Asbestos?
This group of mineral fibres occurs naturally, and they mostly have high strength and fantastic resistance to heat. Due to these remarkable qualities, asbestos has been widely applied in building materials like adhesives and insulation. However, it's essential to understand that despite these fantastic qualities, asbestos is also highly toxic, which is why it is highly regulated.
Are you wondering if you have asbestos in your home? The big answer is most likely yes. Joint compounds, ductwork, floor tiles, and attic insulation are areas where you will likely find asbestos in your home. This is also present in newer homes, as asbestos can be found on materials like vinyl flooring or laminate floor covering. Asbestos has been widely used for many years and is present in many homes.
People usually panic when they find out they have asbestos in their homes, but there's no need to panic; you only need to know if your asbestos requires an inspection. Your asbestos will only become dangerous if it is airborne and breathed into your lungs.
In some cases, materials disintegrate quickly and become airborne. This is common in attic insulation or pipe insulation, but it rarely occurs, and it's improbable that you've been exposed for long. The risk associated with asbestos is mainly related to people with professions that subject them to repeated exposure to airborne asbestos for many years.
What to Do If You Contact Airborne Asbestos
If you think an area in your home with asbestos is disintegrated or loose, you must get the material tested and inspected. If you have old insulation in your attic or pipes crumbling when touched, you should get these components checked to know what you're dealing with. However, if you live daily on the same old floor tiles, you may not have to worry about anything, although it is still best to have them checked.
Demolition and remodelling projects
You will have to be concerned about exposure to asbestos if you're performing asbestos removal, remodelling, and demolition projects. This is particularly important if you're taking materials with asbestos and crushing, tearing, or breaking them out.
It's important to know whether asbestos is released into the air when subjected to these conditions. Another thing worth noting is that there are regulations and laws concerning asbestos, and it's vital to comply with these regulations.
The general requirement is to sample asbestos-containing material before disturbing or damaging them. With that said, regardless of the renovation or demolition project type, you should always inspect for asbestos before anything else.
Health and safety
There are real health and safety hazards associated with asbestos, and anyone exposed to these substances will have a high risk of having health concerns. Even if the exposure is short, it can lead to severe consequences. This is another reason why you must perform asbestos inspections promptly.
How Do I Know I Need an Inspection?
To determine whether you need an inspection, here are some considerations:
- You won't need to perform an inspection if your old house is in good condition or if you're not remodelling.
- If you are about to alter the natural state of asbestos-containing material, you'll need to perform the inspection.
- Inspection is required when demolishing or remodelling.
- In cases where occupants of the property can easily access disintegrating and old insulation, you will need to get the property inspected.
- You'll need an inspection if you are concerned about the presence of asbestos in your home. It's always good to act as fast as possible.
If you're starting a project in your home, you might want to consider calling a building contractor to perform building inspections before you start to help you answer questions you may have.
The regulations for different jurisdictions handle asbestos differently, and it's important to know what laws apply in your region before performing asbestos testing. Doing this will save you more money in the long run.
What to Do If You Find Asbestos
After performing the inspection or testing, it's essential to know what to do, based on the results you get. If the test returns positive, you'll need to consult a certified and registered asbestos professional to advise you on how you can handle the situation and the best course of action.
It's only in some cases that you'll need to get a replacement for the asbestos. In cases where the material is intact, even if you find asbestos, you only need to ensure safe asbestos management.
If the material needs to be removed, you must consult a professional to perform the asbestos abatement. Another factor determining the course of action or management plans is the extent of asbestos in your property.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some other things you should know about asbestos:
How do I know if I have asbestos in my home?
Whether in the siding, shingles, ceiling tiles, or floor tiles, you must know how to determine whether you have asbestos in your home. The best way to determine whether the material in your home has asbestos is by having qualified personnel test your property.
The general requirement is to perform testing on suspected materials, significantly if they are damaged or in cases where you are planning to renovate your property, as this can cause disturbances to the suspected materials. An accredited and licensed asbestos inspector or professional should also collect samples for testing.
What is an asbestos register?
The asbestos register is a document that provides information about where asbestos-containing materials are located in a building or property. It is required by law for workplaces and commercial properties built before a specific date. The purpose of the register is to keep track of asbestos and ensure it is managed safely to protect people's health.
What are the health risks if I have asbestos in my property?
If the asbestos is in good condition and not disturbed, the chance that it will have health risks is meagre. The health risks linked with asbestos are usually associated with disturbed or damaged asbestos fibres, and this causes it to become airborne and inhaled quickly. The best way to avoid these health risks is by regularly managing asbestos and performing maintenance.
Does drywall or sheetrock contain asbestos?
Determining asbestos in materials is not always easy unless it has been tested. As mentioned earlier, if you're concerned about the materials in your home, it's always best to get them tested by a professional.
Another instance is if you're planning a renovation that can affect materials that contain asbestos, you'll need to consult a professional inspection firm to help you determine whether your sheetrock or drywall contains asbestos in them.
Use Experts to Remove the Asbestos in Your Home
There are different options to explore, but the most important thing is ensuring that whoever handles the project is trained, certified, and qualified. One of the options to explore in your search for a professional is the internet, and you can simply search for "asbestos contractor" and your current location.
Similarly, consider contacting your state to ascertain whether there are training and accreditation requirements for the contractors and their workers to meet. In general, only use contractors that are trained to handle and inspect asbestos, however, you can also consult with an asbestos inspector to check for asbestos.