Should You Have That Asbestos in Your Home Removed?

Most homeowners don't like to hear that asbestos has been found in their home; the material is very dangerous when fibers or dust are inhaled, as it's been connected to various forms of cancer and certain breathing disorders. If you've had asbestos found in your home, you might wonder if you should have it removed as soon as possible or if there are other options for you. Note a few things to consider about asbestos removal and this substance overall so you can make the best decision for your home.

1. Home inspection

If you do find asbestos in your home in any one area, consider having your entire home inspected for even more of the substance. Homeowners are often surprised to know that it's not used just as an insulator in the attic but can also be wrapped around pipes, around a hot water heater, and so on. It may also be added to different adhesives to give them strength and durability so they're less likely to break down over time. Asbestos in your attic may not be much of a danger to you if you never visit the attic, but a thorough inspection of your home can mean finding more asbestos in areas that might make it a danger, and you may then decide to have it removed entirely.

2. Understanding abatement

You may hear a contractor talk about asbestos abatement, and this means containing the asbestos rather than removing it. Abatement might include putting up plastic sheeting and then drywall or other building materials over this sheeting. If the asbestos is found wrapped around plumbing pipes, the sheeting might get wrapped around those pipes and then taped or stapled into place. Abatement doesn't take the asbestos away, but when done properly, it can keep the fibers and dust from becoming airborne.

3. Abatement inspections

If you decide to keep the asbestos where it is and have it abated or contained, you want to work with your contractor to note how often you should have the area inspected. For commercial facilities, this is often dictated by law, but for homeowners, you may need to come with a schedule with your contractor. This might depend on how likely it is that the asbestos would still come loose after abatement; for example, asbestos might come loose after home renovation projects that cause vibrations or that cut into an area with asbestos. If you're in an area where there are heavy vibrations such as from large trucks, you might need to have the asbestos inspected more often as the vibrations might shake it loose.