What to Know About Asbestos & Other Hazardous Materials Before You Start Your Kitchen and Bathroom Reno
Today, the average person is quite aware that asbestos poses a danger, even if they are not quite sure how. What some don’t realize, however, is that they have asbestos in their home, whether it be in the attic insulation, pipe insulation, floor and ceiling tiles, or other areas. They may only find out when they choose to renovate their home.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of fibrous minerals that are known for their resistance to fire, heat, and electricity. It has been widely used in several products as diverse as cement, roofing tiles, and oven mitts. By the 1970s, however, it had become known that asbestos had the ability to cause cancer and other diseases such as Asbestosis, a scarring of the lungs. In Canada, as many as 2,000 people die annually due to exposure to asbestos and most asbestos-related diseases will only be diagnosed many years after exposure.
What to Know About Asbestos Before You Start Your Renovation
Among home renovations, kitchens and bathrooms tend to be popular choices. Whether as an effort to save money or simply to enjoy completing a do-it-yourself project, many will try to tackle the renovations on their own, or as a family project. Unfortunately, this could end up exposing you and your loved ones to asbestos and other harmful materials.
Some of the many places where asbestos may be found include:
- Ceiling tiles
- Floor tiles
- Insulating boards
- Sprayed coatings
- Textured coatings
- Pipe insulation
Attempting to tackle your kitchen or bathroom renovation on your own may prove dangerous as asbestos can be found in so many materials and can be difficult to spot. Disturbing these materials could cause asbestos fibres to be released into the air. Even if you are wearing a dust mask, these fibres will simply pass through and find their way into your lungs.
In addition to asbestos, there may be other hazardous materials in your home, such as lead, silica, mercury, or mould.
To be safe, you should be testing for the presence of harmful substances prior to beginning any renovations and this testing should be performed by a professional asbestos abatement company. While there are kits available that allow you to collect a sample and send it to a lab to be tested, this is not advisable, as it may once again result in asbestos fibres being released into the air. By hiring a professional asbestos abatement company, you are ensuring that the testing will be done safely and accurately.
If you test negative for hazardous materials such as asbestos, you can continue with your renovation in confidence, even as a DIY. Should something be found however, keep your family safe by having a pro demolition team carefully remove and dispose of these materials.
For more information on asbestos, testing, and how to proceed safely with renovations, contact us today.