If your home was built before the 1999, there is a chance that there are asbestos-containing materials present in your home. Don’t panic! The presence of asbestos-containing materials in the home is no cause for alarm in and of itself if those materials are not damaged in any way. Only by disturbing the asbestos, do you expose yourself and other people to harmful and potentially fatal effects. However, we can understand that finding asbestos present within your home can be worrying. If you are concerned about the presence of asbestos in your home, read on for helpful advice and assistance.
There may be Asbestos in My Home; What do I do?
If you have reason to suspect that there may be asbestos present in your home, and the asbestos sample you want to test has already broken off, you can always try a DIY sampling kit. You can purchase one online where necessary. You will need to make sure that you;
- Keep the sample damp
- Use Respiratory protection
- Watch where you walk and where you work to process the sample
- Seal the sample in a self-sealing polythene bag and then put that inside a second, self-sealing polythene bag
- Label it correctly
- Then send it out for analysis by a UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited asbestos testing laboratory.
If the sample itself has not broken off, you will need to get in contact with a registered professional asbestos testing laboratory in order to take the sample.
Avoid Disturbing the Asbestos or Creating Dust
When left undisturbed, asbestos is relatively harmless. However, if you disturb asbestos-containing materials, or use power tools on asbestos in an attempt to remove it and end up creating dust, you will be putting yourself in more danger than if you had simply left the mineral alone.
Asbestos fibres, once inhaled, are incredibly toxic and present a number of long-term health problems. It can even result in death due to mesothelioma; a cancer of the mesothelial tissue which has been directly associated with the exposure to asbestos.
Can I Remove it Myself?
It is not recommended that householders remove asbestos themselves as there are specific requirements to the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials. Instead, we recommend that you get in touch with an expert, so that they can advise and assist depending on your specific situation. If you try to remove the asbestos on your own, you have no way of knowing whether or not you have taken the necessary precautions. By leaving it to an expert, you can rest assured in the knowledge that your home and subsequently your health is in good hands.
Alternatives to Removal
There are a number of alternatives to removing asbestos-containing materials in your home, such as sealing the asbestos fibres so that they cannot release dust. This can be done by using paint, wallpaper or adhesive in order to coat and seal the asbestos safely. However, it is important that you document these methods in the event that you plan to sell your property, as the property’s next owners will need to know that you have undertaken these methods in order to avoid disturbing the asbestos in future. Other methods of covering up asbestos includes;
- Painting it with a bitumastic paint
- Sealing with PVA adhesive
- Covering the asbestos with wallpaper or hardboard
- Priming the asbestos before painting with emulsion or gloss paint – However, do not sand or scrape the material before painting!
If in doubt; call the experts
Crucial Environmental draw from extensive experience in the safe removal of asbestos from homes and workplaces, so we can offer honest and impartial advice. If you are unsure as to which may be the best actions for your home, please get in touch and we can advise accordingly.