Asbestos was once used as a fire-resistant material in homes. It's now known that it can cause severe health issues, though. You can't see asbestos, but you can learn the signs that there may be an asbestos problem in your house.
1. Older Home
Asbestos was phased out of residential homes in Australia by 1990. If your home was built prior to then, there is a high chance that there is asbestos somewhere in the house. Testing can determine the location and the current state of the asbestos. If it is in a condition that poses a danger, you can have it removed before it begins to affect your health.
2. Planned Renovations
If you are planning any renovations to your home, whether the goal is to DIY it or have it done professionally, then an asbestos test is necessary unless you are completely positive that there is no way asbestos is present. Remember that asbestos isn't harmful when safely encapsulated. It only poses a health concern if it is freed, such as by drilling into a ceiling or during the demolition of a wall during a planned renovation.
3. Respiratory Issues
One of the most alarming signs of an asbestos issue is respiratory problems that begin to affect your health. Persistent dry coughs, lung and chest pain, and shortness of breath can all indicate asbestos exposure. It's imperative to seek medical care, then one must have the home checked for any asbestos so that removal can begin immediately.
4. Piping Disintegration
Asbestos is often buried deep within the walls, where it doesn't pose a concern because it is encapsulated. In areas with exposed piping, though, such as in crawlspaces and cellars, the combination of no wall finishing and moisture can lead to crumbling asbestos. The area where pipes enter the walls is often the first and most noticeable point of asbestos disintegration, so it's vital to have these areas tested.
5. Vermiculite Ceiling
A vermiculite ceiling, sometimes called a popcorn ceiling, was a popular style in the past. Part of its popularity was because it could be used to apply fire retardant asbestos in an attractive and decorative manner. Testing is necessary, as not all vermiculite ceilings contain asbestos. Even if yours does, it may not pose a concern if it is currently undamaged. If you plan to do any work or if the texture is beginning to crumble, removal will be necessary.
Contact an asbestos removal service if you suspect that there may be asbestos in your house.