Asbestos is a heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, and is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials such as brake linings.
"asbestos was used for pipe insulation."
When is Asbestos a Hazard?
Is asbestos removal always hazardous?
Where can asbestos be found in my home?
What should I do if I think there is asbestos in my house?
My home is contaminated, what should I do? Can I remove asbestos from my home by myself?
Asbestos is a hazard to health when the fibers are disturbed and become airborne. This means that asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are present in the air and then people breathe them into the lungs. Fibres can be released into the air when asbestos-containing products break down. This release can happen through deterioration or when the material is cut or disturbed.
You cannot tell if a product contains asbestos just by looking at it. The only way to tell is to have it tested by a laboratory.
Note: Some products are known to be contaminated, such as vermiculite insulation.
If your home is insulated with vermiculite, it is advised you have an air quality test preformed to confirm asbestos contamination.
The best step is to hire a professional contractor or consultant familiar with asbestos removal. When hiring, confirm that they are qualified and have insurance that covers the type of asbestos work they will be completing.
The person you hire should discuss the specific steps that must be taken to prepare the work area to make sure that:
The dust is controlled.
The right personal protective clothing and equipment is used.
There is appropriate clean up of the work area andwaste removal.
No, not always. Products in good condition (not deteriorating, etc.) may not be releasing fibres.. If a material shows signs of damage such as tears, cracks or water damage, consult a professional consultant. When examining the product, don't touch it as you may unintentionally release fibres into the air.
Asbestos fibres can be released into the air in homes when:
Disturbing loose-fill vermiculite insulation which may contain asbestos; removing deteriorating roofing shingles and siding containing asbestos, or tampering with roofing felt that contains asbestos; ripping away old asbestos insulation from around a hot water tank; sanding or scraping vinyl asbestos floor tiles; breaking apart acoustical ceiling tiles containing asbestos; sanding plaster containing asbestos, or sanding or disturbing acoustical plaster that gives ceilings and walls a soft, textured look;
sanding or scraping older water-based asbestos coatings such as: roofing compounds, spackling, sealants, paint, putty, caulking or drywall; sawing, drilling or smoothing rough edges of new or old asbestos containing materials.
As Health Canada states:
"Because it is a valuable reinforcing, insulating and fire-proofing material, asbestos was used widely in construction materials such as insulation board, asbestos cement, and floor and ceiling tiles. These products are very dense and do not release significant amounts of fibres under normal use. However, fibres may be released if these products are cut or damaged."
Health Canada continues:
"Homeowners should receive expert advice before removing materials that may contain asbestos. If you think your home may contain asbestos, check regularly for signs of wear or damage. However, you can't always tell just by looking at a material. If in doubt, have it analyzed by a qualified professional."
**Our certified Experts will test your home for asbestos using the NIOSH method. We test for Type>1, Type>2, and Type>3 Contamination.