Does My Ceiling Contain Asbestos?
Whether you have just moved into an older home or you have been living in it for years, you want to make sure that it is a safe environment for you and your family. While a home built before the mid-1980s may offer charm and character, you might be concerned about the safety of some of the building materials used, such as asbestos.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that was used in commercial and home construction because of its strength, heat resistance, and flexibility. Some of the products made with asbestos include pipe insulation, shingles, floor tiles, roofing, and ceilings.
Although asbestos provides many benefits in ceiling construction such as fireproofing, soundproofing, and added strength, it also poses health hazards. When materials that contain asbestos are broken, crushed, or disturbed in any way, the asbestos fibers are released into the air. Inhaling these fibers, especially over an extended period, can lead to health problems.
What Types of Ceilings Contain Asbestos?
Ceilings are among some of the most popular products that were made with asbestos. Not all types of ceilings, even if built before the 1980s, contain asbestos. Two types of ceilings known to contain asbestos are ceiling tiles used for drop ceilings and spray-on textured ceilings, also known by the following names:
- Popcorn ceilings
- Acoustic ceilings
- Cottage cheese ceilings
- Stucco ceilings
These ceilings were popular due to their ability to easily hide imperfections, their fire resistance, and their ability to absorb sound.
How Do I Know If There Is Asbestos in My Ceiling?
You can’t tell if there is asbestos in your ceiling just by looking at it. However, there are steps that you can safely take to infer whether or not your ceiling contains asbestos:
- Visually inspect ceiling tiles. If you can identify that they are made of fiberglass, it is likely not an asbestos product.
- Look for the manufacturer’s stamps on ceiling tiles or packaging. Tile that was built or installed before the mid-1980s requires further asbestos testing.
- Determine the age of your home. If your home was built before the mid-1980s, your textured ceiling or ceiling tiles might contain asbestos.
- Determine the age of your ceiling. Textured ceilings or ceiling tiles installed before the mid-1980s may contain asbestos.
If you suspect that your ceiling contains asbestos, you can submit a sample of the ceiling for asbestos testing. Due to the hazards associated with disturbing asbestos, it is best to use a professional for asbestos identification.
What Do I Do If There Is Asbestos in My Home?
If your asbestos testing reveals that there is asbestos in your ceiling, there are several ways to proceed. First, you should take the following safety precautions:
- Do not scrape, break, or crumble the ceiling.
- Do not place furniture in a position that may touch or scrape the ceiling.
How Do I Proceed With Asbestos Removal?
The safest way to remove asbestos from your home is to use a professional asbestos removal service. They will use safety equipment and ensure that asbestos is contained or removed safely.
One solution for asbestos in your ceiling is to encapsulate, or cover, the asbestos-containing material with a special kind of vinyl paint. That way, it can’t release asbestos fibers.
Asbestos removal should be done by professionals, they will safely remove your ceiling using specialized equipment and protective materials. During the asbestos removal process, make sure you are not in the home, and any furniture in the room should be covered with plastic, and the air conditioner or heating unit in the home should be shut off.
How Asbestos Project Management Can Help
If the asbestos-containing material in your home is in good condition, do not tamper with it. However, if you believe you may have asbestos in your home and would like an asbestos test and inspection done, contact Asbestos Project Management today.Back To Blog