Are you about to embark on a remodel project? Congratulations. It’s an exciting process that can return many rewards. Remodeling a property can improve value, create a healthier environment and provide a place that you can truly call home. But, before you start knocking down walls, make sure you test for asbestos first.
Why should I conduct asbestos testing?
Asbestos was widely used for many years before the EPA placed restrictions on how it could be used during the 70s. It can be present in many types of building materials, such as wrapping around pipes, drywall taping, popcorn ceiling materials, attic insulation and much more. It’s not easy to identify and can be hidden in spaces that you’ll only uncover during the demolition process. The only way to find out if your home has asbestos is to have a sample analyzed at a laboratory. So, your first concern should be safety and then you can start the project of your dreams.
Testing for asbestos is not cause for concern. In fact, it should provide peace of mind as you work towards achieving a beautiful new home. There’s a good chance that even if you do have asbestos that, if left undisturbed, it may not cause a problem at all. So, why take a chance? Find a trained and accredited asbestos professional to help. He or she will be able to take samples for analysis, since a professional knows what to look for, and because there may be an increased health risk if fibers are released. In fact, if done incorrectly, sampling can be more hazardous than leaving the material alone. So, hire an asbestos testing firm to do the dirty work.
- Hire an asbestos testing professional who has no hidden agenda. The asbestos testing company you hire should not have any connection to asbestos repair or removal services.
- Ask the asbestos testing company about their certifications and credibility. Are they accredited? Are they part of the Better Business Bureau? Have they completed any mandatory training? Are they state approved?
Don’t do this
- Inspections to determine the presence of asbestos must be performed by certified asbestos inspectors so don’t try to do it yourself.
- Don’t start remodeling before you test. Asbestos that is disturbed during the demolition process can release hazardous fibers into the air and cause a host of dangerous health-related problems (i.e., mesothelioma).
So, if you’re about to remodel, assume that asbestos is lurking somewhere. Even though the EPA placed restrictions on its use, it’s not banned altogether. Whether used in wall insulation or siding or even old paint, there’s a chance you’ve got it, so test for asbestos for peace of mind. Just follow the do’s and don’ts and you’ll be in remodel mode in no time.