How to Tell If Your Home Has Asbestos?

How to tell if your home has asbestos? If your home was renovated or built before 1985 (or around that year), it’s possible that your place has asbestos. But to be 100% certain, it’s recommended to ask a qualified professional to do the asbestos inspection.

Why is it important to know if there’s asbestos in your home or apartment building? The danger happens when there are airborne asbestos fibres. When inhaled, the asbestos fibres will damage your lungs which could lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma, lung inflammation and other diseases.

Why was asbestos used as a construction material?

First, the health risks were unknown back then. But due to scientific studies and health assessments, the asbestos material was finally banned for use.

Asbestos or asbestos-containing products were popular back then because they offer excellent resistance and stability against water, heat and chemicals. Because of these excellent properties, asbestos became a preferred choice in insulation, soundproofing and fireproofing applications (especially in industrial and commercial settings).

In homes and apartment buildings, asbestos might be found in:

  • Insulation in walls and attics
  • Vinyl floor tiles (especially in kitchens and basements)
  • Pipes for hot water systems and boilers
  • Roofing and siding (especially shingles)

There might be other areas where asbestos can be found. This is true especially in houses and apartment buildings constructed or renovated more than 20 years ago. In addition, the level of risks might vary depending on the location and asbestos category (friable and non-friable).

Friable vs Non-friable Asbestos

Main difference is that friable asbestos carries a higher level of risk because the fibres can be easily released into the air. That’s because friable asbestos are easily crushed and powdered. Also, these products usually contain large concentrations of asbestos (up to 100%).

On the other hand, non-friable asbestos is solid and rigid. They are usually bonded to cement and overall, the products contain much lower concentrations of asbestos (e.g. 15%). As a result, non-friable asbestos carries a lower level of risk for families and residents.

However, both are still risky. For example, due to weathering, non-friable asbestos becomes friable and gets a greater likelihood of being released into the air. That’s why a qualified professional also checks for non-friable asbestos.

How to tell if your home has asbestos

To be sure, it’s recommended to hire a professional who can do the thorough inspection in your home or apartment building. He should show a proof of his qualification. He should also have extensive building experience because the assessment and inspection requires expertise in construction materials and techniques.

Here at Sydney Building Defects Inspections and Reports, we can provide you with an Asbestos Assessment and Clearance Report. We can also devise a detailed description and removal plan. These are important in pre-purchase and before initiating a home addition or renovation (asbestos might be released during demolition).

Contact us today and let’s set a convenient appointment for your property’s asbestos assessment.