Throughout the greater part of the 20th century, asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that was utilized in a variety of applications. Due to its flame resistant, highly durable and inexpensive qualities, it became the ideal choice for manufacturers as a form of insulation, piping, brake lining and flooring.
Many homes and buildings built prior to 1980 may still harbor asbestos, but even homes built in the 1990’s may contain asbestos in vermiculite insulation. Although Vermiculite alone does not contain asbestos, it came from one single mine that contained a large amount of asbestos. It was discovered long after heavy use in a variety of construction applications that asbestos exposure can result in debilitating chronic illnesses and cancers. This information was hidden from the public for decades!
By taking simple precautions, you can ensure that asbestos exposure will not occur in your home. Having a thorough home inspection can be beneficial to property owners looking to keep their homes and families safe.
Important Tips and Information
According to the experts, the general rule of thumb is if the asbestos is in good shape, it’s posing no apparent risk. If it’s in bad shape, it could be a problem. Normally, asbestos can appear in roof shingles, attic insulation, pipe coverings, joint compounds, electrical wires, furnace cement, fire brick and gaskets. In some instances, the best course of action will be to let it be. It is recommended for homeowners to leave any suspected asbestos alone, as this can takes its fibers airborne.
A home inspection is extremely important in a variety of scenarios. In order to protect your investment, professional consultants can provide an evaluation of the home. Consultants will identify material defects structures and components of the home, in adherence to or exceeding national, state, and industry regulations and standards.
Exposure to asbestos can lead to the development of many health ailments such as mesothelioma. Asbestos fibers are thin and long and when inhaled they can become lodged in ones chest cavity. It can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years for this disease to appear. With limited treatments available, this form of asbestos lung cancer usually receives poor prognosis from physicians. This makes a mesothelioma life span not as positive as one would hope.
Removal of asbestos in public facilities, workplaces and homes must be performed by licensed abatement contractors who are trained in handling toxic substances. They must wear protective equipment such as masks and gloves to avoid any exposure. The area is usually isolated from the rest of the house by shutting down ventilation systems and sealing them.
Healthy Green Alternatives
Many locations throughout the United States are swiftly changing their construction practices to suit the environment and the health of human beings. The implementation of eco-construction, green energy solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world. The U.S. Green Building Council conducted a study which estimated a new savings of $50-$65 per square foot for positively constructed green homes and buildings.
Alternatives to asbestos allow for a healthy and safe home, free of health damaging materials. These include: cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Cotton fiber is quickly becoming a favorite for home builders and renovators. Made from recycled batted material, it is also treated to be fireproof. These green options have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components.
If you are a home owner and suspect that asbestos is present, make sure to call a home inspector immediately to determine the proper course of action. With the right amount of awareness, it is completely avoidable and preventable to keep yourself away from asbestos!