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Asbestos in the Home: To Remove or Not to Remove

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By : Tina Fountain    99 or more times read
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with some odd qualities. It has a long fibrous crystal structure that lends itself to applications that requires a degree of flexibility and an amazing ability to withstand high temperatures. Even back in the days of ancient Rome asbestos was known for its fire-proof properties, as well as some incidence of lung issues in slaves who worked with the material. Most of the serious issues that have come to be related to asbestos mining and industry were not recognized until much more recently in history.

Asbestos can be found in many products from insulation (vermiculite), floor tiles, ceilings (popcorn texture), wire and pipe insulation, siding, ironing board covers, heat diffusers, as well a myriad of other types of products that were common in household use in the past and in some cases up to the early 1980s.

Most of the medical issues related to asbestos exposure such as asbestosis—the chronic inflammation of the lungs—is a result of many years of exposure in an industrial setting like mining. However, a smaller daily exposure of asbestos fibres in the air can increase your chances of developing mesothelioma or diffuse pleural thickening of the lung tissues as the lungs try to expll the fibres from the body.

Have an inspector come in before you buy an older house that is old enough to possibly have asbestos products in it. Let them know that you have concerns about the possibility of asbestos on the premises. They can let you know where asbestos is.

Not all asbestos needs to be removed from your house; in fact sometimes disturbing it is more dangerous than just leaving it be. Materials in good condition that are in areas that are unlikely to be disturbed are better to be sealed up and left intact. You should have no worries about asbestos that is in good shape as it will not release fibres into the air.

Asbestos materials that are damaged should be dealt with licensed professional to ensure that the removal of such materials are done properly and that the disposal is completely as per governmental regulations. Professionals will seal up the areas where they're working to keep the fibres from contaminating other areas of the building.

Don't let the presence of asbestos in a home scare you away from buying it. If you are in love with a home that has asbestos in it, find out with the inspector what the condition is like and what might need to be removed. You may find that either it doesn't need removal or that the cost is worth spending to have the home of your dreams.
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