Hello and welcome back for another post in my Home Ownership 101 Series. Today I am sharing some information on the dangers of asbestos. If you have ever lived in an older home you might already be familiar with asbestos and the risks of removing or disturbing it during renovations. Almost all older homes will have asbestos, so if you are considering renovations it is something you absolutely must be aware of. Read on to find out more about the dangers of having this particular element inside your house and what you can expect from asbestos as a whole.
What is Asbestos?
The term Asbestos refers to any organic silicate mineral that is essentially made up of microscopic fibers. This is not a healthy element to have and household construction mainly because it can produce dust particles that can stick to the lungs when inhaled. My late step father developed work related asbestosis, which is a chronic inflammatory and scarring disease affecting the tissue of the lungs. This caused a lot of other chronic health issues for him.
Asbestos can cause breathing problems among many other conditions that might lead to eventual death if left untreated. This element is also known to be carcinogenic. The cancer associated with asbestos exposure is known as Mesothelioma. Because of risks of exposure it is important that you are able to remove asbestos ceilings or floors properly if you have it in any property that you own.
In terms of ceiling materials, asbestos is one of the most prominent components of popcorn ceilings. After consulting with a Los Angeles popcorn ceiling removal company, we found out that most realtors realtors choose to remove this particular type of ceiling right away even before the release the property into the market to ensure the buyer’s safety.
Major Steps to Take in Popcorn Asbestos Ceiling Removal
When removing asbestos, particularly in the ceiling, you have to make sure that you handle it properly. Here are some of the major steps that you can take to do so.
Important Reminder: Note that self-removal of popcorn ceilings would only be safe to do on your own if it doesn’t have asbestos as one of its main components. Otherwise, take the next few steps.
- Wear the necessary protective gear such as disposable overalls, hats and gloves.
- Make sure to work in the most ventilated area in the house.
- If you can’t afford to do so, wear a half face respirator for additional protection when working with asbestos.
- Cover the flooring with plastic to catch the debris.
- Make sure that the surface of the asbestos ceiling would be damp at all times. This will prevent the dust particles from floating into the air and being aspirated.
- Be careful when pulling out any nails.
- As much as possible, try to refrain from using power tools that might end up causing more dust particles to be released into the workspace. Use hand tools as replacements.
- Don’t break the sheets when removing them.
- Place the popcorn ceilings sheets carefully on the ground as your remove them.
- After the removal procedures, make sure to use a wet mop to clean the area. In addition, use a specialized vacuum to absorb any of the asbestos particles.
- Don’t forget to place the work clothes that you used in containers labeled contaminated. Do not remove your respirator until the clothes are disposed of properly.
- Lastly, make sure that you wash your hands and shower thoroughly to get rid of any dust particles that may have gotten on your skin.
These safety precautions will definitely protect you from contamination down the line. However, if you feel that these procedures are not sufficient, feel free to ask professionals for their help. In all honesty you probably should call an asbestos ceiling removal company, since dealing with asbestos can be dangerous.
I hope you have found this information about asbestos to be useful. If you are considering purchasing or renovating an older home be sure to have a thorough home inspection to identify areas where asbestos may be a problem. If you can’t find a home that is entirely asbestos free, remember just because a home has asbestos doesn’t mean that is is unsafe to live in. It only becomes a health hazard when the material is disturbed.
Do you experience dealing with asbestos? I love hearing from you, dear readers! Thanks for visiting!