Before being banned in 2018, asbestos was incorporated into almost every part of the home — from shingles and flooring to drywall and plumbing. Because of its popularity, hundreds of thousands of homeowners across the country still have asbestos-containing material (ACM) in areas of their home. If you suspect your home might still contain ACM, here’s everything you need to know about having it removed.
The Dangers of Asbestos
For the most part, ACM are harmless until they are damaged. However, once these materials are disturbed and released into your home’s airflow, you and your family are at risk of developing serious health issues.
These materials can be disturbed by anything as minor as old age, wear and tear, and more commonly, DIY home projects. If you’re going to be breaking anything in your home, whether it’s tile, drywall, plaster or pipes, you need first have your home tested for asbestos. While this is common knowledge for trade professionals, homeowners looking to save by handling a project on their own are usually unaware of the risks or unwilling to pay for the cost of a test.
When to Hire an Asbestos Specialist
There are a few instances when you will need to hire an asbestos specialist. If you’re planning to renovate your home built before 1980, you should get your home tested before you get to work. You should also immediately connect with a specialist if you suspect ACM has been disturbed in any way. Do not try and dispose of any of the material — keep out of the area until an expert has checked out the scene.
Tips for Hiring
Before you hire an asbestos specialist, ask to see their training certificates issued by The Ministry of Colleges & Universities. They should also have valid liability insurance and their employees should be covered under the appropriate provincial workplace compensation board. Once you’ve seen the right documents, read online reviews, and reviewed a written contract, you’re ready to hire.
The first step in the process will be to take samples of the suspected material. Once the lab has confirmed that that asbestos is present, they will disable your home’s HVAC and install new electrical that will help prevent asbestos from spreading outdoors. Next, your home will be sealed and any surfaces covered with plastic and tape. Once they start removing the material, they will seal it in airtight bags and dispose of it in the appropriate landfills.
While the initial home inspection and test can cost as little as $100, complete removal from an average-sized home can cost tens of thousands of dollars. While this may seem expensive, the safety of you and your family always comes first.
The possibility of having asbestos in your home is scary — but being well informed is the best way to protect yourself and your family. If you even suspect you have asbestos in your home, we strongly recommend having your home tested. Use the banner below to get connected with a specialist today.