As a homeowner, is asbestos something you should worry about? It first became popular as insulation in the early 1940s and was used in residential properties through the mid-1970s. Builders loved it because of its fibrous strength and resistance to heat. In homes
built before 1975, asbestos was commonly used in thermal insulation and around basement boilers and pipes. It can also be found in other home materials such as:
- Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring
- Roofing and siding shingles
- Textured paint and patching compounds
- Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves
For you as a homeowner, asbestos is dangerous when the fibers are released into the air. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to asbestos fibers can increase your risk of developing lung disease. This risk can actually increase if you’re a smoker.
Asbestos fibers are typically disrupted and released into the air when, for example, you decide to take on a large home construction project such as renovating or remodeling. However, normal wear or damage, such as tears or water damage, may also cause asbestos fibers to be released.
If you have concerns or suspect the presence of asbestos, it’s always best to call a trained, accredited asbestos professional to assess the situation and correct it if needed. Better safe than sorry!