Tips to Help You Test for and Handle the Presence of Asbestos in Your Home

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Asbestos is not something you might consider to be a danger inside your home, especially when there are so many toxins and chemicals in the environment and outside that can cause damage. However, if your home is not recently built, you should consider the fact that there could be asbestos in its structure and have it properly tested. Here are some recommendations to help you deal with a potential or suspected asbestos issue inside your home.

Take Safety Precautions

Anytime you suspect that there is asbestos in an area of your home, you should take safety precautions to protect your family members from exposure to the materials. Asbestos only becomes a health risk when it gets disturbed and becomes airborne. This makes it possible for it to be inhaled directly into your lungs where it causes damage and cancers. Materials that are known to contain asbestos and were produced before 1990 can be at high risk of asbestos, and you should have them tested before you attempt to remove the materials and clear them out of your home.

Be sure you also take measures to keep individuals in your household away from any asbestos that has become loose. For example, don't pick at materials that you suspect are contaminated with asbestos, and don't sweep up or vacuum any debris that you think has asbestos within it. Also, keep children out of an area of your home that you suspect contains asbestos and limit unnecessary activity to keep everyone safe until you can handle the situation.

Arrange For Testing

You can seek out testing for asbestos in several different ways. You can hire a testing professional to come to your home and thoroughly test. Or, if you are a hands-on person and have the ability to handle some basic DIY testing, you can buy an asbestos test kit from a local home and garden retailer or online. The kit will include instructions on how to collect samples of any materials you suspect contain asbestos. 

For example, if you suspect your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, the kit will instruct you to cut out a sample of the material and enclose it into the test sample bag and mail it to the testing center. For a piece of millboard around the walls surrounding an indoor stove or fireplace, you can cut off a piece of the wallboard and send it in to be tested. If the asbestos-suspect materials are dust and fibers, you will need to collect a specific measured amount of the dust and mail it to the testing center.

Your testing professionals will test your materials once you send them into their testing center and they will provide you the results of the material to indicate whether it does or does not contain asbestos. If you get a positive asbestos test, you should arrange to abate the asbestos by encapsulation or have it removed following the required safety and environmental recommendations.

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