Asbestos Awareness for Homeowners

Wednesday Aug 30th, 2017

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If you are planning a renovation to a home built before the 1990s, you need to be aware of asbestos and the threat that it can pose to you and your family. 

Found in more than 3,000 building products up until the late 80s, asbestos can literally be hiding in plain sight. Left untouched, it’s harmless, but once you disturb the material during a renovation or demolition, it can be inhaled, causing serious health problems, lung disease and cancer. 

Before you or your contractor starts any work on your home, you need to be informed as to what asbestos is, what to look for and how to get it properly removed. The health and safety of everyone working on your project depends on it.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers:

What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that was used in more than 3,000 building materials from the 1950s to 1990s.

Why is it dangerous?
When materials containing asbestos are disturbed (either intentionally or unintentionally), asbestos can be released into the air, which is then inhaled, causing serious health concerns for anyone working or living in the home.

How do I know if I have asbestos in my home?
Asbestos is often mixed with other materials, so it can be hard to detect. However, if you are renovating a home built before 1990, it's likely that at least some parts of the home will contain asbestos. Asbestos is only harmful when it is disturbed, so know where to look for it and how to remove it safely.

Where is asbestos commonly found?
Some common asbestos-containing materials include:

•    Vinyl tiles and linoleum sheet flooring
•    Roof felt and shingles
•    Loose, blown-in insulation, such as vermiculite
•    Stucco
•    Gypsum board filling compound
•    Patching and joint compound for walls and ceilings
•    Incandescent light fixture backing
•    Deck undersheeting

How do I test for asbestos and have it safely removed?
The safe removal and disposal of asbestos is a shared responsibility between yourself, as the homeowner, and your contractor, if you are working with one. Before you begin a renovation on a home built before 1990, hire a qualified asbestos testing company or asbestos surveyor. If the hazardous material is found within your home, they can assist with the safe removal and disposal before you continue with your project.

For more great tips like these, as well as up-to-the-minute real estate news in Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area, be sure to follow along on Facebook and my blog. If you are thinking of buying or selling soon, please contact me today to schedule a free home evaluation.


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