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Home Renovation: Exposing Asbestos

Posted on September 17th, 2021 at 11:18 AM
Home Renovation:  Exposing Asbestos

Home Renovation & Risks

The decision to renovate your home comes with a big responsibility. You may want to renovate to create more space, avoid the cost of moving, or turn an old house into a brand new one. Among the many reasons one may want to renovate their home, there are various ways that a home can be improved. Whether you decide to remodel the kitchen, update the roof, or redo the flooring, giving your home a makeover can be a very long process. Take this as a friendly reminder to do your research and to create a plan before you renovate.

As a homeowner, you take on the responsibility of maintaining your home. Before you start to remodel your home, you should first talk with a renovation expert, then become familiar with the details and dangers that may come along with remodeling. Prior to the 1980s, asbestos was commonly used in the building materials of homes and now, in 2021, asbestos remains to be a recurring issue during construction, causing risk of exposure.

Details & Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that breaks down into microscopic fibers that is undetectable to the unaided eye and can be worn down or become damaged over long periods of time.

This mineral can be an extreme risk to your home and to the health of those who live in the home. In the midst of a renovation, disrupting materials that may contain asbestos will release the asbestos fibers, making the fibers airborne.

The major danger of the situation is that because asbestos is undetectable, it can happen unknowingly, creating the risk of inhaling and or ingesting the asbestos fibers. Once inhaled or ingested, it can settle within your internal organs causing long-term effects. Tumor development can occur from long-term dormancy and lead to a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure known as mesothelioma.

Where to Look for Asbestos in Your Home

If your home was built anytime between 1900 to 1980, it is essential that you are cautious during renovations. There are many asbestos-containing materials that can be found in the home, and it is important not to be lackadaisical when it comes down to the health of yourself and others in the home.

As you prepare to renovate, you will want to make sure to get the help of a professional to check exterior surfaces such as cement asbestos roofing, and cement asbestos siding shingles. The walls and floors around wood-burning stoves might be protected with asbestos paper, and steam and hot water pipes could be coated with asbestos materials. Floor coverings, heating and piping, and electrical equipment also have a high chance of containing asbestos. Unfortunately, asbestos was commonly used and had a discreet disguise. The list below are more asbestos-containing materials that could reside in your home:

  • Asbestos rope/sheet
  • Boiler insulation
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Cement roofing
  • Cement sheets
  • Duct/pipe insulation
  • Furnaces
  • Joint compound
  • Millboard
  • Piping insulation
  • Rollboard
  • Roof shingles
  • Roofing felt
  • Sheetrock
  • Siding shingles
  • Vermiculite attic insulation
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Vinyl sheet flooring


Furnace system

What to Do if You Suspect Asbestos in Your Home

If you feel as though your home is in jeopardy of containing asbestos-containing materials, you will want to take safety precautions to secure the safety of everyone involved. It is so important that you do not touch the asbestos or attempt to remove the asbestos on your own. The best plan to ensure safety is to hire an abatement professional.

Newer homes are less likely to contain asbestos but if your home was built before the 1980s, it is in your best interest to take safety precautions. It can be difficult to identify asbestos in the home without an asbestos professional. Hiring a professional can promote ease knowing that it will be accurately checked and removed. Furthermore, doing your own research about asbestos-containing materials can bring comfort to you while educating yourself about where the asbestos may be in your home and how to handle the materials in the safest way possible.

Remodeling with Maleno

Before you decide whether to move forward with a remodeling project, consider talking with Maleno Custom Building & Remodeling.  Our knowledgeable and experienced building experts help you determine the risks and benefits for your home.  Contact us today!