Though contractors mostly stopped using asbestos in the 1980s, plenty of older houses still contain undetected asbestos from the era when it was a popular building material. Asbestos is a mineral that can break up into fine fibers that get into the air and the lungs. It’s been known to cause mesothelioma and several cancers, including lung and ovarian cancer. If you discover asbestos in your home, it’s essential to know how to handle it without putting your health at risk. Here’s what to do and what to avoid.
Never Touch Asbestos Materials
Once you’ve discovered the area or material that contains asbestos, avoid it at all costs. Since it can be broken up so easily, asbestos is best left alone completely. Mark the area and place a perimeter around it to ensure no one comes in close contact with the asbestos.
Inform Children About the Asbestos
Children present a higher hazard around asbestos since they might not understand the harmful damage it can do. When you discover the asbestos, explain what it is to them and make it clear they’re not to touch the contaminated materials. This can prevent any future accidents or damage to the asbestos.
Avoid Tracking It Through the House
The smallest asbestos fibers can cause damage to the lungs, so even carefully walking through a contaminated area can risk relocating asbestos to other parts of the house. If fibers escape the main asbestos material, a much more intensive process will be needed to clear your home of the problem. If you absolutely have to walk through the area, mop it vigorously with water first.
Don’t Damage Asbestos Materials
Sometimes flooring and walls contain asbestos and you come across it by doing repairs, such as sanding or drilling. As soon as you see the asbestos, stop the repairs immediately and quarantine the area. Vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, scraping and sawing asbestos can put particles into the air and should be avoided.
Contact an Asbestos Removal Contractor
Asbestos removal contractors are trained and equipped to handle areas with asbestos. Most homeowners don’t have the equipment or proper knowledge to eliminate asbestos without creating a risk to themselves. Call an asbestos abatement contractor, like from Nielsen Environmental, as soon as you’ve spotted the asbestos. They can tell you how to handle it in the meantime, and they may come out to complete an initial inspection. Talking to a contractor can eradicate any concerns you may have, and you can schedule an appointment to get it taken care of shortly.