Asbestos Testing

How to Test for Asbestos in the Home

While asbestos has been banned from building materials for decades, and manufacturers have voluntarily stopped producing it, it remains in the tiles, insulation, paint and shingles of many older homes. People exposed to asbestos fibers are at risk of developing health problems such as lung cancer, mesothelioma (cancer of the chest lining), and asbestosis (scarred lung tissue).

If asbestos is present, but won’t be disturbed, it’s fine to leave it as is: it’s only dangerous when the fibers become loose and are inhaled. If a remodeling project is about to begin, though, it’s best to test for asbestos if it’s suspected to be part of the structure. The US Environment Protection Agency also recommends that any area suspected to be asbestos be treated with caution as though it is confirmed asbestos.

It’s best to call in a professional for asbestos testing, as accredited and trained individuals can ensure that the tests are conducted safely, without any risk for the homeowners. However, a homeowner can take a sample and then send it away to the EPA for testing. Here’s how to test for asbestos.

Asbestos Testing at Home

asbestos testing

The key to remember is that any asbestos fibers released into the air are hazardous, so precautions must be taken to ensure as few fibers are released as possible.

Before the asbestos sampling is done, look into local and state requirements for cleaning up and disposing of asbestos. These rules are necessary to follow for any of the equipment used to do the asbestos test.

Here are the recommendations to follow for asbestos testing according to the American Lung Association.

  • Have only one person do the asbestos sampling so that fewer people are at risk. Other inhabitants should not be at home.
  • Wear disposable gloves and a mask, and wash hands thoroughly when finished.
  • Ensure all heating and cooling systems are turned off, as are any fans, so that any released fibers won’t be blown around.
  • Take a very small sample so that as few fibers are disturbed as possible.
  • To prepare the area, place a plastic sheet on the floor, and spray a mist of water and detergent on the material to be cut. The mist will also prevent fibers from blowing around.
  • Use a very sharp knife to cut the sample, and work very carefully. Place the sample into a clean container that can be tightly sealed.
  • Clean up the area by washing it with paper towels, and then dispose of the towels and the plastic sheet according to the local regulations.
  • Patch the hole created in the material using duct tape.
  • Label the container with the location and date, and send to an EPA testing laboratory.

Asbestos testing is important to ensure health risks are reduced or eliminated during a remodeling project, or even a task as simple as drilling a hole in a wall to hang a picture.

Asbestos Testing and Removal

If the asbestos test results come back positive, a professional should be called in to evaluate the material. Trained professionals can make recommendations on how to remove or deal with the asbestos, and will make sure it’s done safely.

There are three main options offered: sealing, covering, and removing asbestos. Sealing it binds the fibers together so that they can’t be released. Covering it can also be an option that prevents asbestos from being disturbed. Finally, removal gets rid of asbestos for good, but the process involves increased health risks, so it should only be undertaken by a professional. Because of the health risks, asbestos removal is expensive, but it may be the only option if the asbestos is in an area that will be remodeled or otherwise majorly changed.

Asbestos testing is a serious endeavor; while the asbestos itself is dangerous, the sampling process has its own risks, too. A professional is the best person to deal with the job, but whether a professional does it or the homeowner, all precautions should be followed to reduce the possible health consequences.

How To Prepare For A Wet Weather Season

As a home owner you need to prepare yourself for all weather season especially the wet season. This is because during this season your house can incur massive damage due to the harsh cold and rain and it will be hard to go out in the cold and try to make repairs while it is raining. Therefore you are advised to take your time during the dry season and try to make repairs because you can easily access areas that are vulnerable to the elements without disturbance. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for this season.

  • Gutter cleaning

Rain gutters are essential part of the roofing system that help to get rid of water that can damage the system. If they are not regularly cleaned they will get clogged and will not carry out their functions as expected. Try and make sure that you clean your gutters a few weeks before the rainy season or else you will incur a lot of expenses for something that could have been prevented easily.

Gutter cleaning isn’t a task that can be completed by just anyone. You need someone who understands what should be done when it comes to gutter cleaning. Perhaps a gutter cleaning professional is the best option. He will first inspect the gutters, estimate the extend of cleanliness required, get the right cleaning equipment, and get the task done.

After cleaning, the professional must inspect the gutters again for any faults that need to be corrected. For example, holes, and cracks must be fixed as early as possible to avoid further damage.

  • Seal holes in your roof

If you don’t inspect your roof regularly you will fail to realize that the shingles get loose and even fall off. Before the rains start to fall you should check that the shingles are tight in place and if there are some missing replace them or use appropriate material to seal the hole to avoid leakage when it rains. Rainwater greatly damage the ceiling because water can spread and lot the ceiling creating a big hole on your ceiling which will be very expensive to fix or even replace if the damage is extensive.

Preparing your home for a rainy season is a simple task which should not be overlooked. This will greatly help you to avoid serious home damage.