Old Home? – An Asbestos Horror Story

Just before the end of 2018, a homeowner in Winnipeg got a nasty surprise for the holidays – asbestos in the walls.

It was a water leak in an upstairs bathroom that led to a cascading series of woes. Unfortunately, the leak on a connector to the toilet tank began overnight, and by morning, had flooded the entire second story of the home, leaked into some of the first floor, and into the forced air vents of the HVAC system. A nightmare under any circumstances, to be sure.

The damage was so extensive, the family called in their insurance company, and the clean-up crew found something they weren’t expecting: asbestos. What they found specifically was asbestos within the drywall compound that had been in their walls.

Asbestos in Older Homes
The home was built in 1970, and was occupied by the same couple and their family since then. Like many people, they had a “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality, and so the home went with only a few necessary upgrades through the decades. It was a wake-up call the family won’t forget.

While the family may have been taken aback, the restoration crew was already on the alert.

  • Any homes built before 1990 have the potential for asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACM) literally from floor to ceiling;
  • Asbestos or ACM may be found in floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, wall panels, even window caulking, textured paints, and carpet glue;
  • If the materials are intact and undisturbed, they are not considered a threat to health, but once major renovations or – as in this case – damage has occurred, it can cause the asbestos dust which can be inhaled.

That’s when the problem occurs.

Before You Renovate…
The lesson here is clear: if you own a older home, or if you are buying an older fixer upper, you need to find out what and where the asbestos may be located. Once you open walls and begin working – even if it’s something like a home theatre or alarm system installation – you are potentially creating inhalable asbestos dust.

  • If you are using contractors, you may be liable for their health and safety, including possible asbestos exposure;
  • If you are doing the work yourself, you are putting you, your family, and your neighbours at risk.

If you have asbestos in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. 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.