Home Renovations: Three Essential Guidelines on Preventing Asbestos Exposure

If you are thinking about improving your old home through renovations, you should understand the status of your building in relation to asbestos. Asbestos is a hazardous mineral which was banned from use in construction. However, it was a popular building material because of its fire resistance, durability and inherent strength. Therefore, some homes still have some asbestos-containing materials. If you proceed with the renovations before managing the asbestos, you will risk the release of the fibres. If the particles become airborne, they could be inhaled, and the health consequences could be dire. Here are some guidelines to help you limit the probability of asbestos release and the contamination of your home.

Perform an Asbestos Inspection

You should perform an asbestos inspection in your home before taking any action. This assessment is essential because it confirms or dispels your suspicions, allowing you to proceed with your home improvement project. In general, the inspection should be carried out by an experienced asbestos consultant. The expert will check your house and provide information on any suspected asbestos-containing material. If they have identified a possible hazardous element, you should have them collect samples and send them for testing. A laboratory test will provide conclusive evidence on the presence or absence of the material.

Choose a Management Method

If the inspection shows that your home is clear of asbestos, you can proceed with your renovation project. However, if asbestos-containing materials are identified, you must choose a method to manage the hazardous mineral. In general, the most effective management option before a home renovation project is asbestos removal. This choice is ideal because the house will be disturbed during the construction or improvement process. If there is asbestos in the building, the particles could be released, and they will contaminate the house. However, you can choose to leave the asbestos in place and seal it instead of removing it. If you are not performing invasive work, the bonded fibres should remain in place.

Dispose of the Material Correctly

If you choose to remove the asbestos in your building, you must make certain that the waste is disposed of correctly. Asbestos cannot be handled like your general residential waste. If it is disposed of incorrectly, it will cause environmental contamination, and the consequences could be extensive. Therefore, you should ensure that the hazardous materials are properly sealed in bags and marked as asbestos. The material should then be dropped off in a designated local disposal site. Where possible, you should allow the asbestos removal contractors to perform this task.