A lot of houses and buildings built before the 1990s are still around today. If they have been properly maintained, they can be great and beautiful attractions in any community. However, no matter how lovely these properties are, there is a chance that they have or contain asbestos.
Houses and buildings constructed before 1990s have old floor and ceiling tiles, roof shingles and flashing, siding, insulation, and pipe cement that contain asbestos.
Asbestos, unfortunately, is one of the most harmful substances around. Exposure to or inhaling the powder form of asbestos can cause individuals to develop asbestosis – a form of chronic lung disease wherein scar-like tissues form in the lungs in a process called pulmonary fibrosis and this condition reduces the elasticity of the lungs, making breathing difficult . Asbestos can also cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, pleural abnormalities, laryngitis, and weaker immune system.
If your home has been built before the 90s, it is a safe bet that there is asbestos in your property. If you have plans of renovating your property to sell it or for other purposes and you are sure that it has asbestos, you need to have it inspected first. Once the levels of asbestos have been determined, you can decide to call experts to remove them or you can do this on your own. This is because by following certain steps and tips, you can safely and effective remove small amounts of asbestos. Below are some of these useful steps and tips:
• When removing small amounts of asbestos, always cover up properly. Wear a high quality respirator or dust mask. Make sure the mask you will use has two straps to hold it firmly in place. Wear a hat, gloves, disposable coveralls with a hood, and safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes when carrying out this task as well.
• Never use power tools when removing asbestos. If you use a power tool when working, asbestos fibers can be released in the air, making this substance more dangerous.
• Before working, make sure the door of the working area is closed. Use tape and plastic sheets to seal the work area off from places inside the house to avoid contaminating the other rooms. To catch falling asbestos, put plastic sheeting over the floor. Make sure you properly cover vents, air conditioning, and central heating units or ducts as well.
• When removing asbestos cement sheets, wet them gently with water. Use a pump spray to lightly dampen the sheets and to keep the dust down.
• Lastly, let your family and neighbors know about your asbestos removal project. To be on safe sound, have your family members and pets stay away from the work area until after the clean-up. Inform your neighbors and anybody else who may be affected by your removal and disposal of asbestos cement materials so that they can take the necessary precautionary measures as well.