Building materials containing asbestos were commonly used in constructing homes between 1910 and the early 1980s.These materials were inexpensive and added more fire resistance to the structures they were used to build. Unfortunately, at that time it was unknown that asbestos causes severe health problems that can be life threatening. Many homes and other structures that were built during this time still have asbestos materials in them. If you live in an older home that tests positive for asbestos, this problem must be handled properly to avoid being exposed to this harmful substance. These are some ways that asbestos should be managed in the home.

Leaving It Undisturbed 

If you have areas of your home that contain asbestos that is still intact, it may be best to leave it undisturbed. This includes ceilings, walls or flooring that still appears to be in very good condition. By leaving the materials alone, you will avoid allowing the release of the asbestos into the air where it can be inhaled.

However, you may want to encapsulate the area to prevent the asbestos from being exposed to the air later should the material begin to break down. This can be done by covering the area with a barrier that will block asbestos from being released. For instance, you may want to have your floor or ceiling completely covered with a new floor or ceiling so that the asbestos fibers will not become airborne.

Removing Asbestos 

If asbestos-containing materials must be removed from your home, this is a job that should always be done by a professional in asbestos abatement. In fact, some states have laws that require this type of work to only be done by those who have been trained and licensed in asbestos abatement. Before having the asbestos removed, be sure to clear the area of all furnishings, clothing or other items that the asbestos fibers may cling to during removal. Cover any items that cannot be removed with thick polyethylene sheeting.

Special equipment will need to be worn by the person removing the asbestos including a respirator, face, eyes and skin coverings and rubber gloves for handling asbestos materials. Once the asbestos is removed, it is very important to properly clean the area so that no fibers remain. This includes bagging up and disposing of all materials that contain asbestos.

Whether asbestos is being encapsulated or removed from the home, it is extremely important to take safety precautions to avoid inhaling it. Sadly, asbestos disease, also known as mesothelioma, does not currently have a known cure.