Does My House Contain Asbestos
There have been a number of “great innovations” in home construction that turned out to be more nightmare than sweet dream. Of these lead paint is a prime example. Largely banned in most developed countries since the 1970s there was a time nearly every new home contained some lead paint. Same with asbestos. During the early and mid-20th century asbestos was sold as a kind of miracle insulator and as such found its way into many of the homes built during that period. Most of those homes are still standing and while the asbestos has been removed in many of them there are scores of homes in every corner of the UK that still contain asbestos.
Why Hasn’t All Asbestos Been Removed?
Perhaps ironically the reason asbestos is still present in many homes is because the threat is now well understood. Part of that comprehensive understanding is the knowledge that asbestos really only presents a danger when it assumes a powder form, such as when people attempt to remove old asbestos insulation or screws are driven into an Artex coating. If the asbestos containing material is intact and untouched it should pose no direct danger which is why many homes with old Artex ceilings have never had this material removed.
Can I Renovate a Home That Contains Asbestos?
As mentioned asbestos only becomes a threat to health when it has been reduced to powder that can be easily inhaled. Because exactly this sort of thing happens during renovation work it raises the question of whether a home with asbestos in it can be renovated at all. The good news is that it can. But you’ll need to either isolate the asbestos or remove it first. There are a number of asbestos sealants on the market that can be used to encapsulate asbestos in old floor tiles or Artex ceilings. The other option is to hire a professional to remove the material before performing any renovation work that might disturb it.
I’m Not Sure if My Home Contains Asbestos
If your home is more than 20 – 30 years old and you are not sure if it contains asbestos you can purchase an asbestos sampling kit to find out. Just be certain to follow the instructions to the letter. If you are not of a mind to test for asbestos yourself there are many licensed asbestos removal companies that can test for you.
Just remember that if you are aware of asbestos containing material in your home and you decide to remove it yourself, you will still have to notify the proper authorities that you’ll be conducting asbestos removal. In addition, there are some asbestos containing materials such as spray coatings, lagging and insulation boards that can only be removed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor.
Renovating a home that contains asbestos is not impossible but you do need to proceed with caution. The regulations surrounding asbestos are in place for a good reason. Make sure you heed them when conducting renovations on a home containing asbestos.