10 Ways to Protect Your Family from Exposures to Asbestos – 2020 Guide

Homeowners generally know how to protect their families in certain scenarios and go out of their way to make it more comfortable and secure for them to live inside their homes. This implies all sorts of things, from fire safety and installations to alarms and cameras. However, one other substance can be a silent killer and slowly poke away at the family members’ health if the right steps are not taken.

Asbestos is a term used for six natural silicate minerals made of long and thin fibrous crystals. Each fiber is composed of many microscopic fibrils that are easily released into the atmosphere by many processes. Although asbestos is a great electrical insulator, it is infamous for its effects on the health of humans. It is a known safety hazard too, and its use in construction and as a building material is illegal in many countries of the world.

Inhaling asbestos particles and fibers can cause dangerous health issues, mostly lung conditions like asbestosis and cancer. In this article, we will explore in detail how you can protect your family from asbestos exposures and what you need to do if you have asbestos in your home. To find out, even more, make sure to visit asbestosremovalanddemovancouver.com.

Img source: blf.org.uk

Identifying Asbestos

It is hard to tell if some material in your home contains asbestos by simply looking at it. If it is not labeled, it is next to impossible to tell. If you suspect some area has asbestos, leave it alone and get in touch with a certified professional. You should especially do this if you wish to remodel your home since you will probably be disturbing the materials, or if your home already has some damage like crumbling drywall or faulty insulation. Professionals take samples of the asbestos to analyze it and they know what to look for. Never analyze it on your own, since it can be more dangerous than leaving the area in question alone.

Dealing with Asbestos

If it turns out you have dangerous amounts of asbestos in your home, do not worry. If the material is not damaged or disturbed in any way, there will be no health risk to the family. While it is in good shape, simply leave it be since it does not release particles and fibers into the air.

Most often, improper disturbing of asbestos surfaces include removing, repairing, cutting, tearing, sanding, sawing, drilling, and scraping. Therefore, the best way to protect everyone who lives in the home is to leave it alone and contact professionals. The absolute worst thing one can do is hit, rub, or handle the exposed spot by hand. Furthermore, extreme vibrations and airflow’s proximity to asbestos can be dangerous. With this being said, the following are basic things a homeowner should do and not do in order to keep their loved ones safe from asbestos.

  1. Leave undamaged asbestos areas and surfaces alone, especially if you suspect the materials contain it.
  2. Limit the activities and time spent in areas that are close to damaged asbestos-containing materials, and prevent children from accessing the spots until they are fixed.
  3. Do everything in your power to prevent asbestos materials from the damage of any kind.
  4. Remove and repair asbestos surfaces only with the help of trained, certified professionals with lots of experience.
  5. Do not sweep, vacuum, or dust asbestos debris if you have it.
  6. Never saw, scrape, sand, or drill asbestos materials and surfaces.
  7. Do not carry around and track asbestos-containing materials through and around the house. In case you cannot avoid this, make sure to clean the floors with a wet mop. If you have to clean a larger area, call a professional to clean it for you.
  8. Do not level asbestos flooring. Instead, cover it with new flooring or replace it with other materials if possible.
  9. Treat the damaged asbestos material with sealing/encapsulation. A sealant either binds the asbestos fibers together or coats them so that they cannot release into the atmosphere. This is the best way to fix the furnace, boiler, and pipe insulation, and it should always be the work of a professional.
  10. Alternatively, you can close the damaged hole or whatever kind of disturbance in asbestos material you have by covering it. Placing something over prevents the release of fibers. Piping is often covered with protective jackets or wraps. Again, consult a pro to assist you with this task.

Asbestos Professionals

Img source: mastersconstruction.ca

There has been some mention of certain individuals educated in the way of asbestos, but who or what are they exactly? There are two types of asbestos workers.

The first are inspectors who are capable of telling you exactly what is wrong with your home, office, or building. They come to the location in order to assess the situation and tell you the conditions of your space. In addition, they take samples of materials and test them, after which they will share with you exactly what you need to do to repair the damage. In case you have to remove or repair asbestos materials, they will advise you how best to perform the procedures, clean everything up, and monitor the air following the work. Furthermore, they can recommend the next type of professional and inspect their work when it is done.

Speaking of the other kind of asbestos pro, that would be the asbestos contractor. Like any other contractor, this professional comes to your home to do physical work and repair or remove something, in this case, faulty asbestos surfaces badly for your health. For maximum safety, make sure your contractor is trained, experienced, and accredited in their line of work since not all countries and states require them by law to be.

Once the inspector has done their side of the job, hire a contractor to do the actual work, and then have an audience with the inspector again so they can make sure everything went according to plan. If you no longer appear to have issues with asbestos inside of your home, their work is done. Usually, inspectors and contractors that work in the same city or town know each other and you can often hire a team that works well together. Ask around to learn who the best professionals in your area are and do not go with a budget option with something as important as asbestos protection.

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