Massachusetts Home Inspections: Preventing Asbestos Exposure
A building substance that was used throughout the 20th century in thousands of products around the world, asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was the most highly sought out method of insulation in homes. Its flame resistant, inexpensive and highly durable qualities made it an ideal choice for manufacturers. Asbestos normally appeared as insulation for piping, roofing, siding and flooring in homes.
Many properties constructed prior to 1980 have a significant chance of containing asbestos, but even those built in the 1990’s can as well. Vermiculite insulation that was used came from a mine in the U.S. that once heavily produced asbestos. Newly bought homes are often remodeled and repairs are always needed. This is often the case with older homes, which still run with old, corrosive methods that were once used to build structures. If you believe that your home contains asbestos, a home inspection could be extremely important for safety, health and investment reasons.
If asbestos materials are present, most contractors will advise home owners to leave it alone. A home inspector can determine the toxicity levels present. Sometimes the best action is no action at all. Asbestos that is left undisturbed and is not in a deteriorated state will not pose any health risks because its fibers have not been release into the air. Asbestos can appear in roof shingles, attic insulation, pipe coverings, joint compounds, electrical wires, furnace cement, fire brick and gaskets.
Asbestos contains fibers that are extremely thin and strong. When they are disturbed, they can become airborne where nearby individuals can inhale these toxic fibers and can lead to serious health problems. Mesothelioma is a form of asbestos lung cancer that is only cause by exposure to this material. An individual who suffers from this disease has limited treatment options and one’s mesothelioma survival rate can be impacted by a number of factors, such as: age of diagnosis, latency period lasting 20 to 50 years and past record of cigarette smoking.
It is not always an easy process to determine whether or not a particular insulation contains asbestos. Anyone who is unsure about the insulation in their home should have the materials in question inspected and tested. Again, exposure is very preventable by taking the right precautions!
Benefits of Home Inspections and Healthy Tips
Receiving a professional home inspection is something that cannot be understated. Many building substances can become a problem for homeowners due to the negative health effects that can occur if not identified. Advances in technology have made inspections into a valuable process that quickly studies areas of concern in your property.
A home inspection is also extremely important to protect your investment. Professional consultants can provide an evaluation of the home and will identify material defects in structures and components of the home, in adherence to or exceeding national, state, and industry regulations and standards.
If an inspector deems the substance harmful, the removal of asbestos in public facilities, workplaces and homes must be performed by licensed abatement contractors who are trained in handling toxic substances. Depending on the condition of the asbestos, many experts feel it is better to seal it off than remove it. These licensed contractors who remove asbestos, will be familiar with the regulations in protecting you and themselves from exposure to asbestos.
Green alternatives to asbestos include the use of cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Cotton fiber is made from recycled batted material and treated to be fireproof. A water based spray polyurethane foam, lcynene features no toxic components. These healthy options have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components.