Due to the popularity of asbestos as a building material in the early to mid-20th century, it can be found in many houses built during this period. As useful as it is as a fire, chemical, heat, and electrical retardant, asbestos is also incredibly dangerous and has been classified as a carcinogen to humans. If you have asbestos in your home, it is important to treat the substance so that you can keep you and your loved ones safe.
There are two families of asbestos that make up a total of six types of the silicate mineral. The serpentine family is only composed of chrysotile, the most popular form of asbestos. The other group, amphibole, contains amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite. All of these types of asbestos are unsafe.
If you suspect that your home has been built using asbestos, it is good to go ahead and get it tested in a lab. You should follow specific safety protocols to take a sample of the possible asbestos-contaminated material, then send it into a laboratory for testing. If you do indeed have asbestos in your home, you should get it treated immediately.
Should your home contain asbestos, it is imperative to get a professional removal service to take care of it. The problem with asbestos is that it easily flakes into microscopic pieces that can get lodged in your lungs if inhaled. Thus, if you try to remove it yourself, you can actually send the particles into the air. Professionals armed with special filters can treat it without breaking it up into tiny pieces.
Your two main options for asbestos treatment include removal and repair. Once asbestos-containing material such as insulation is flexible to the touch, it is beyond repair and should be removed. However, if it is still firm and in good shape, you may be able to repair it so that it is still present yet is not at risk for releasing shards. To keep fibers from being released, the asbestos can be treated with either a bridging or penetrating encapsulant.
Bridging paints make a skin-like cover over the asbestos to keep it from releasing fibers. Penetrating encapsulants soak into the substance and cause it to harden like a plastic. Although this is a good way to have an instant fix, painting the asbestos can make it more difficult to remove in the future.
For removal, professionals use special vacuums, air filters, glove bags, and even negative pressure air machines to safely free your home from asbestos. This is a slightly risky process as any mishap can release asbestos-laden air into the environment. Thus, the professional asbestos removers will wear protective clothing just in case. Additionally, the air will be tested after the removal service is completely to make sure that no fibers are contaminating your home.
Sometimes, treating the asbestos in your home may come too late. If you or someone you know has developed mesothelioma as a result of illegal asbestos usage in your house, you can earn monetary compensation to help you recover.
For more information on mesothelioma and the law, check out the mesothelioma law firm of Williams Kherkher today.