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All You Need to Know About Asbestos

If you have asbestos in your home, there is no cause for alarm. The danger arises when asbestos materials are damaged. Damaged asbestos releases fibres that are a health hazard. This article will discuss where you can expect to find asbestos in your home, friable and non-friable asbestos, how asbestos becomes a hazard and how asbestos is handled.

Asbestos in Households

If your home was constructed in the 80's, it probably has some materials containing asbestos. Modern homes also have materials that consist of asbestos. The common areas you can expect to find asbestos in your home include:


  • Gutters
  • Wall sheeting
  • Vinyl flooring
  • Tile and carpet under lays
  • Fencing
  • Water pipes
  • Water proof membrane
  • Concrete form work

Friable and Non-Friable Asbestos

The approach used to handle asbestos depends on whether the asbestos is friable or not. Asbestos that you can crush into a powder form is friable. This type of asbestos can easily become airborne. This type of asbestos is found in old stoves, hot water machines and pipes, domestic heaters and ceiling insulation. If you encounter friable asbestos you should not hesitate to contact an asbestos removal professional.

Asbestos that is tightly bound can only become airborne if cut, sawed or sanded. This type of asbestos is non-friable. Examples of non-friable materials includes sound and heat insulation and insulation for fire protection mainly found in electrical panels, circuit boards, wall linings and ceiling tiles. If materials containing asbestos are non friable, they pose no great danger. However you should monitor these materials regularly to check for damage or deterioration.

How Does Asbestos Become a Hazard

Asbestos becomes dangerous when it goes airborne. For example, when furnace, pipe or heater insulation deteriorates, it starts to releases dust that is harmful to your health. Ceiling with asbestos may pose a risk when they are patched or drilled. Tranite pipes used for transporting water in your home can pose a great risk if they deteriorate and release asbestos fibres in the water.

Repair and Removal of Asbestos

The two methods used to deal with asbestos are either repair or removal. When conducting repairs, an asbestos professional will cover or seal the asbestos material. Furnace, boiler and pipe insulation are normally repaired through sealing. Sealing also called encapsulation involves using a sealant to bind or coat the asbestos fibres. Covering asbestos material involves wrapping the material with a protective jacket to prevent it from releasing the asbestos fibres.
Asbestos removal is conducted by a professional to avoid exposing the fibres to the environment. During the process, a professional uses disposable clothing, approved respirators, and a special vacuum. After completing the procedure, air samples are taken to make sure that the air is safe.