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Top 5 Areas in Your Home Where Asbestos Can Be Found

scraping off popcorn stipple ceiling of old home during renovation

Did you know that asbestos can be found in a lot of different places within your home? Read this week’s blog where we break down the most frequent areas in which we locate asbestos.

Did you know that continual exposure to asbestos can lead to ailments such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and even lung cancer? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral typically used to strengthen certain products and materials. Before the 90s it was primarily used for insulating homes and buildings to offset frigid weather conditions and loud noises. However, due to its potentially dangerous effects on people, it's important to know where it can be found in your home, as well as what can be done about it. In today’s blog, our team of experts have compiled the top five areas where asbestos is usually found in the home.

1.) Flooring

Asbestos is typically found within the flooring of your home. This is especially true if your house was constructed prior to 1981. If the floor in question contains asbestos and has been impaired or damaged, something as innocuous as vacuuming or sweeping could free some of the asbestos fibers.

  • Vinyl Floor Tiles Vinyl floor tiles are resilient and inexpensive, making them a logical choice for floors that must withstand constant wear and tear in businesses, schools and hospitals. Mixing asbestos into vinyl floor tiles made them more insulated and resistant to fire and damage. The adhesive used to apply these tiles also contained asbestos.

  • Vinyl Sheet Flooring Like floor tiles, vinyl sheet flooring is a long-lasting and economical material, and it also offers more aesthetic options to suit a homeowner’s taste. Unfortunately, vinyl sheet flooring manufactured with an asbestos backing poses a serious exposure risk when it is disturbed. Asbestos vinyl sheet flooring was often designed to resemble carpeting, wood or stone and was less expensive than these other types of flooring.

  • Linoleum Flooring Asbestos was also used in linoleum flooring, which is similar in appearance and application to vinyl flooring. Vinyl is synthetic, while linoleum is considered natural because it is made from materials such as linseed oil, pine resin, cork, wood or mineral fillers. Linoleum is technically not a vinyl product, but homeowners may mistake it for vinyl flooring.

Prudence is important here, even if your floor is in decent shape, it's still a wise choice to have it secured and encased.

2.) Insulated Pipes

Asbestos is resistant to heat so it was often used on hot water pipes to retain the warmth that emanates from them. If the insulated pipe wrapped with asbestos material is still intact, leave it be. However, if it has rips, tears, ruptures, or any other damage, call in a professional for asbestos removal.

3.) Drywall/Plaster Walls

Until the 90s, asbestos was commonly added to drywall compounds and plaster. It was an inexpensive way to increase the plaster's ability to insulate buildings and resist fire. Asbestos continued to make its way into some types of plaster through cross-contamination despite its known danger. Simply repairing a wall puncture or sanding down a blemish could result in fibers becoming released into the air.

4.) Stipple/Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings used to be popular choices in home-building and renovation. Their crumbly appearance allows them to hide the imperfections that often come with drywall application. Unfortunately, popcorn ceilings were popular during a time when asbestos was a primary ingredient in many home-building materials. As a result, many popcorn ceilings have been found to contain asbestos. Any disturbance to this type of ceiling material can be harmful to you and your family. At the very least, call in a professional to do asbestos testing. If your ceiling does contain it, you'll want to remove it from your home as soon as possible.

5.) Wallpaper Finish

Wallpaper that was produced and installed before 1980 might contain asbestos. If your wallpaper is still in relatively decent shape, your best bet may be to simply paint over it. However, if it happens to be cracked or split, then call in an expert who can test it and then add a new covering for your wall.

Get Peace of Mind – Test & Clear Your Home of Asbestos

At Breathe Easy Eco Solutions, we pride ourselves on being Winnipeg's environmentally conscious remediation company. We can test, remove and safely dispose of any asbestos problems. If you suspect that you may have asbestos and would like to have it removed, get in touch with us today!


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