A Homeowner’s Quick Guide To Asbestos

If your home was built before the mid 1980s, there is a good chance is contains asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACM). At one time, the so-called miracle material was used in a wide variety of applications, literally from floor to ceiling, attic, and roofing materials.

Asbesto – A Colossal Mistake
It’s not hard to see why asbestos quickly became popular in both residential and home construction.

  • It’s heat resistant;
  • It’s water resistant;
  • It’s virtually indestructible.

It was often mixed with other materials such as concrete or vinyl to produce tiles for roofing and flooring, pipes and pipe insulation, among many other specialized uses.

It wasn’t until decades after it first became widely used in the early 1900s that the signs of its tragic legacy would become known. The first wave of asbestos victims includes many factory, construction, and other workers who became exposed on the job. The presence of asbestos fibres in the lungs can lead to many health issues including cancers and deadly mesothelioma.

  • The problem with asbestos in the home is that, over time, even ACM can deteriorate, and release asbestos fibres into the air.

How Do You Know
Since asbestos was so widely used and ACM can contain a variety of other materials, you can’t be sure of being able to recognize it just by sight. It may be present in:

  • Ceiling tiles (often called acoustic ceiling tiles);\
  • Popcorn ceilings and textured paints;
  • Wall panels;
  • Vinyl floor tiles;
  • Older carpet adhesives;
  • Attic insulation;
  • Pipe & boiler insulation;
  • Window and door caulking;
  • Roof shingles.

What you might see:

  • The only visual clue you may sometimes see is a kind of dimpling effect, visible in things like ceiling and floor tiles.
  • Asbestos sheeting used in homes and other buildings such as sheds was often joined with metal runners if outdoors. Indoor sheets were most often joined with wood or plastic runners.
  • Around windows and doors, inside or out, be leery of any old adhesive material, such as joint cement or putty.
  • Be especially cautious of any old insulation material that becomes exposed.

What Can I Do?
No amount of asbestos exposure is considered safe according to the latest medical findings.

  • Do not attempt to remove it yourself.
  • Do not attempt to handle it in any way yourself.
  • Seal off any questionable area as best you can, and get help.

Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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.