Asbestos is a highly toxic material that was once commonly used in home construction across North America. It wasn’t until 1979 that the use of asbestos was officially banned across Canada, however, materials containing asbestos were still in use until the early 1990s. If your home was built before the 90s, there’s a chance that asbestos could be lurking within. Read on to better understand what asbestos is and why you should get an asbestos test for your home.
Exactly What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with flexible fibres that are resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion. This easy-to-use fibre structure made it extremely popular as an insulator to be used in walls, floors, around plumbing and electrical wires in construction sites. Inhaling these fibres over a long period of time can cause many health issues including cancer and lung diseases.
There are 6 types of asbestos: Actinolite, Amosite, Anthophyllite, Chrysotile, Crocidolite and Tremolite. In 2018, Health Canada banned these types commonly used in adhesives, sealants and coatings, cement, reinforced plastic, roofing felt and vinyl tiles.
Identifying Asbestos in Your Home
If you’re concerned about the potential of asbestos in your older home, you will need to get a test done. Pinpointing where the asbestos is in your home is easier said than done and will require the help of a pro. Since asbestos is highly toxic, your best option is to hire a professional and licensed asbestos specialist for the job.
Identifying the presence of asbestos requires specific tools, protective gear and material to seal surfaces until the asbestos is removed. A licensed professional will collect samples from your HVAC system and drywall and send them to a lab for scientific testing. Once the samples have been positively identified as asbestos, they will remove them for you as well.
When to Get an Asbestos Test
If you’re planning a renovation that could disturb or move the potential asbestos in your older home, you must get a test first. If the tests find asbestos present in your home you will need to get it removed before your renovation can begin. After having it removed, be sure to have your home tested again after 6-12 months. Doing periodical asbestos tests helps keep your family safe.
There’s Asbestos in Your Home, Now What?
If your tests for asbestos come in positive, you have to get rid of it on an emergency basis. It is highly recommended that you do not try to DIY when it comes to removing asbestos. Asbestos fibres are easy to airborne and can cause immediate side effects if you are not taking proper precautions. There are strict regulations and procedures defined by Health Canada that are followed by professional asbestos testing and removal companies.
A local asbestos removal company will seal the affected areas, cover them with plastic sheets and tape. They will start removing the affected material, pack it securely in airtight bags and dispose of it in the right landfills.
How Much Does Asbestos Testing and Removal Cost?
*costs based on 703 real homeowner reviews as of December 2021
Asbestos can be harmful and dangerous but you don’t need to fear it. Instead, you can hire professionals who will inspect the walls, ceiling and floor of your house to test for asbestos. If the test results come in positive, the same team of professionals can help remove them from your home. For the safety and well-being of your family, get your home tested by a professional today!