Asbestos was a common building material during residential construction before the 1980s, when its dangers were not known, as an asbestos contractor, such as Nielsen Environmental, can explain. If you own an older home, this material may have been used in a few different areas. Because asbestos can be dangerous if it degrades and particles become airborne, you may want to have these locales inspected.
1. Furnace Ducts
Older homes may have their furnace ducts lined with asbestos. If you have your ducts serviced in the spring and fall, any repairs made might cause particles to travel through the ducts once you turn the unit on. It is wise to ask your furnace repairman to check for this insulation and how to have it safely removed.
2. Soundproofing Material
Spray-on soundproofing material was widely used in the 1960s and 1970s as a means to reduce noise in basement recreation rooms or bedrooms. However, this foam contained asbestos, which could become airborne as it degrades or becomes damaged. If this foam remains in your basement or other rooms, you may want to have it removed by someone trained to properly handle asbestos, as decaying particles can make you ill if inhaled.
3. Roofing Material
While some older roofing materials may contain asbestos, they may not present much of a threat unless you have a section repaired or decide to have your roof replaced, as either of these actions may cause the release of asbestos particles into the air. Gnawing pests, such as roof rats and squirrels, could also cause issues as they chew into the roofing material.
4. Textured Paint
Certain brands of textured ceiling that were popular in the 1960s and 1970s may contain asbestos. One popular look, known as “popcorn,” gave a ceiling a 3-D texture that many homeowners favored. Replacing or remodeling rooms with this type of ceiling could expose you to harmful levels of asbestos, and you may want to contact a licensed contractor for assistance.
5. Patching Compounds
Some common household patching materials may contain small amounts of asbestos, but as these patches degrade due to age or weathering, they may send particles into your air conditioning and heating system, where you could breathe them in. Because asbestos can cause a deadly lung disease called mesothelioma, removing or patching over decaying materials may help prevent this.
If you believe you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos due to outdated building materials in your home, there is help available. Contact an attorney today for further information and advice.