Goderich: Lingering Asbestos in the Soil

The one year anniversary after Goderich’s deadly F3 tornado of 2011 was marked recently with a mixture of emotions.

The town, known as the ‘prettiest town in Ontario’ was recognized for its historic architecture. The picturesque town square helped to bring much needed tourist dollars to a place where many factories have closed. To add insult to injury, the salt evaporator – crucial to its major industry, the salt mines – was also damaged in the tornado.

The rebuilding process has not been without its pains – beloved buildings like its Opera House were deemed unsalvageable and had to be demolished rather than rebuilt. At more than a year later, much still remains to be done, including the removal of about 15 centimetres of topsoil in the town square that experts fear is contaminated with asbestos.

Hopefully you’ll never experience a tornado in your own backyard but the incident highlights what can happen when older buildings are damaged – or renovated. In Goderich, the historic buildings contained asbestos in multiple forms and in multiple areas, as is commonly the case.

Asbestos in Your Home
While it’s been banned from residential uses since the 1970’s, if you have a house built before that date you should assume that it contains asbestos somewhere too. It can show up in a variety of places both outdoors and indoors including:

  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Windows and window caulking
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Floor tiles
  • Pipe chasing
  • Insulation

Asbestos Risks
In many residential uses, including floor and ceiling tiles, asbestos actually appears in a mixture. The material is considered safe as long as it’s intact however damage and degradation can produce the friable – or inhalable – fibres which have been proven to cause lung disease, including cancer and mesothelioma.

That’s the danger feared by officials in Goderich – that the rubble from the destruction of the older buildings has left a residue of hazardous asbestos dust in the soil.

Be Aware
Just as public institutions keep tabs on it, you should be aware of where asbestos is located in your home and keep an eye on it regularly for damage or deterioration. It will be crucial information when you do any renovations.

Let us Help
Get peace of mind from GreenStream Environmental – call us for an asbestos inspection or removal quote today.

If you are looking to buy or renovate an older home then do yourself a favour and include an asbestos inspection on the list of things to do.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414.  You’ll be glad you did.