Homes constructed with asbestos can have serious effects on the health of everyone inside, but many people aren’t aware that their house contains materials with asbestos. Older houses are the most common culprits, as asbestos was used in construction as late as the 1980s. If you’re looking to renovate your older home, you may want to check for asbestos first. Here’s what to look for and how to handle it if you find some.

Materials With Asbestos

Asbestos is actually incredibly difficult to identify. If it’s in building materials, it may not be apparent to the untrained eye. Looking for asbestos on your own may derive only negative results, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have asbestos. Touching, moving or taking samples of a material you suspect has asbestos is not recommended.

Places Usually Containing Asbestos

Many houses contain asbestos materials in similar areas. The ceiling, floors and walls of a home are incredibly common, especially in insulation. Tearing out walls and replacing floors can lead to the unexpected discovery of asbestos. It can also be found in heating ducts, window putty, siding, boilers and pipes. Before using any tools on these parts of the house, have them checked for asbestos.

Positive Identifications

The most effective way to determine if you have asbestos is to get an inspection by a trained professional. Asbestos inspectors know what to look for, where to look for it and how to safely take a sample. They are prepared with proper protective gear and tools that allow them to handle the asbestos without risk. They can then inform you whether you have asbestos in your home. If you are going to purchase an older house, consider having an asbestos inspector look at it before signing.

Solutions for an Asbestos Problem

If your inspection comes back positive, the advised way to deal with the problem is to call a professional removal contractor. Like inspectors, contractors are qualified to remove the asbestos without causing safety hazards. Asbestos becomes a danger when it is broken up into small fibers that get airborne and, subsequently, into the lungs, which can cause certain diseases and cancers. A contractor decreases the risk of breaking off those fibers and can ensure all areas of the house are effectively cleaned.

If you aren’t sure asbestos is a problem in your home, simply call an asbestos abatement contractor, like Nielsen Environmental,. They can advise you on what to do and suggest an inspection appointment if necessary.