As mentioned in a previous post, asbestos was commonly used in building materials throughout the 20th century and many homes to this day still contain these materials. Recently, many homeowners are choosing to remodel their homes instead of putting them on the market or hiring professional contractors. With popular television shows on the DIY Network and HGTV, more homeowners than ever before are ready to dive into these household projects.
A recent study published in the Medical Journal of Australia explains that do-it-yourself projects are largely to blame for an increase in asbestos-related diseases, which may soon be the case in the U.S. if we aren’t careful. Here are some tips to help keep your family safe if you are considering a DIY home project.
Have Your Home Inspected for Asbestos Before a DIY Project
If your home was built prior to 1980 and you have reason to suspect asbestos materials are in an area you plan to remodel, having your home inspected and sampled for asbestos fibers is important. An asbestos professional will come and sample the air. If the sample contains more than 1% asbestos, according to the EPA the area is “asbestos containing” and imposes a health risk. This is important before starting a DIY project on your home; you don’t want to risk releasing more damaged asbestos fibers into the air.
Hire an Abatement Company
If your air sample comes back showing that your air does in fact contain asbestos, you should remove asbestos before starting your project or remodel as this will damage the materials sending the asbestos airborne. Removing asbestos can be an overwhelming and dangerous project for someone who is not a professional. The job will get done quickly and safely by using a certified asbestos abatement company in your area.
Have you taken all of the safety steps above? GREAT! However, it is still very important to wear proper safety equipment while working on your home project. When working on your renovation, wear a dust mask and goggles at a minimum. This will protect you from inhaling any dust particles as well as protect your eyes. The safest and best recommendation is to wear a mask that contains a HEPA filter and covers the nose and mouth securely.
For more information on asbestos safety during home renovations visit Asbestos.com.