Top 10 Places You Might Find Asbestos
Asbestos hasn’t been included in home products for years, but many older homes still contain the material in components like insulation and flooring. In years past, asbestos was commonly used to insulate because of its heat-resistant composition. But asbestos exposure has been found to cause mesothelioma and other types of cancer, so it is now regulated in the United States. Products like asbestos tiles, roofing elements, and sealants were discontinued.
Around 27 million workers were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1979, according to the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Today, occupations such as construction, electricity work, plumbing, shipbuilding, and others are still at high risk of asbestos exposure.
Whether you are taking on a home project or just purchased an older house or building, it’s important to know whether you need to pursue asbestos removal. Below are the ten places you might find asbestos.
Pipes used for hot water and steam were often coated with asbestos material. If your property has older piping systems, they could have been insulated or made with asbestos. Asbestos materials could have been used within the pipe material itself or in the pipe wrapping to insulate exposed pipes or make them fireproof.
Asbestos may be present in older, textured paint in old homes, or within troweled or spray-on popcorn ceilings, which were popular in the middle of the 20th century. Asbestos was often included in the materials to make popcorn ceilings because of its fire-resistant properties.
Insulation in Walls and Ceilings
Asbestos may also be found in certain types of insulation for homes, including vermiculite, blue asbestos, loose-fill or blown-in, and batt insulation. These types of insulation were commonly used in older home construction, so be very cautious.
Asbestos was also used in materials for furnaces because it was an easy chemical to work with and was resistant to high temperatures. It was used as an insulator for boilers and burners and in the construction and installation processes for furnaces. Asbestos may also be found in ducts, furnace cement, fireboxes, stoves, and other places.
Vinyl Floor Tiles
Vinyl flooring grew in popularity because it was a much cheaper alternative to real wood, ceramic tile, or carpet. Asbestos was commonly added to vinyl flooring products because of its strength and heat-resistant properties.
Roofing and Siding
Many older cement siding shingles and cement roofing contain asbestos. Additionally, watch out for window putty that could contain the contaminate. Asbestos fibers made these elements more durable to better protect the home. It could also appear in asphalt roofing shingles, flashing, and siding adhesives.
Sheetrock mud, or wall-joint compound, may contain asbestos fiber, and there’s a higher chance if it was made between 1940 and 1980. This substance is used to bind drywall panels together after installation.
Air Duct Coverings
Air ducts may have been insulated with material similar to cardboard that contained asbestos materials. Some duct tape that was used to seal air ducts contained asbestos, which was a thick tape and white or gray in color.
Asbestos also appeared in some plastic resins used in appliance installation. Older appliances, like refrigerators and washing machines, have been found to contain the substance as gasket or insulating material or as a heat shield.
Finally, asbestos was commonly used in door gaskets, which seal gaps around the perimeter of an entrance. Asbestos was considered a highly effective insulation material that helped keep doors sealed from outdoor elements.
These ten uses of asbestos were all too common until the substance was clearly linked to health issues and forms of cancer. While these dangerous products are not sold today, they could still exist in older homes, so be careful when taking on any DIY project.
What to Do If Your Property Has Asbestos
When you think your home has asbestos-containing materials, the best thing you can do is work with a professional asbestos removal company that can take care of it safely.
These experts know how to handle the substance and will help keep you and your family safe from exposure. It is never worth the risk to try to remove it yourself, since disturbed asbestos can create dangerous dust that you don’t want to inhale.
When you need assistance with asbestos removal, Asbestos Project Management is here to help with both residential and commercial properties. Our business has been in operation since 1984, and we’re a locally owned family business. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you avoid asbestos exposure.Back To Blog