The Dangers of Asbestos During Home Remodels
Renovating or remodeling a home can be an exciting time. It’s your chance to change what you don’t like about your space to something that is uniquely you.
But if home and garden television shows have taught us anything, it’s that the biggest hiccups during renovations often arise during demolition—particularly when you’re renovating an older home. It’s when you start opening walls and moving things around that you find out what the home is really made of.
One of the biggest surprises during home renovations is asbestos—that useful but dangerous material that was so commonly used in building products prior to 1980.
Common Asbestos-Containing Building Materials
These are the most common products in homes that contain asbestos:
- Vermiculite Insulation
- Sheet Vinyl
- Plaster Mud & Texture
- Pipe Wrap
- Duct Seam Tape
- Popcorn Ceilings
- Cement Asbestos Board Siding
- Boiler Wrap
- Glazing on Old Windows
- Texture on Exterior Brick
If you’re living in an older home that likely contains one or more materials on this list, don’t worry. It’s important to keep in mind that these asbestos-containing materials are not harmful unless they are disturbed.
Identifying Asbestos Before a Renovation
While we can make assumptions about certain materials based on our professional experience, it is not possible to tell whether a material contains asbestos by simply looking at it. That’s why it’s important to bring in an AHERA certified building inspector or a professional asbestos abatement contractor to inspect the area, take the necessary samples, and have them tested for asbestos before you begin a renovation.
Knowing what you’re getting into ahead of time will help save time and minimize the stress of your renovation.