How to Deal with Asbestos in Your Home

How to Deal with Asbestos in Your Home

There comes a time for all of us, in our homes, where we run out of space and need to create more. Maybe your property is old and in need of general renovation. If you are lucky enough to be a builder or a carpenter, you are able to achieve great things with only a small budget. A loft conversion is a fantastic way of enlarging your home, both quickly and cheaply.

Maybe a huge home extension is just what you are looking for. Whatever your reasons, the project will involve some alteration to the structure of your existing building.

During the alterations, there is a chance, particularly in an older property, that you may come into contact with asbestos. The asbestos may not be immediately identifiable to the untrained eye. If you have even the slightest suspicion that asbestos is present, call for a professional survey. Whether you need asbestos removal in Essex, Sussex, or any other county; an internet search will bring up a list of qualified people who can help you.

Asbestos was developed from natural fibres that were found to have useful properties; its heat resistance probably being the most useful. It was used in many industries for situations where high temperatures were found. It came in sheets and other forms for lagging pipes, boilers, and lots of other applications. Commonly found in homes it was used for insulating lofts and walls. After the second world war, it was used in the construction of some ‘pre-fabs’. It was waterproof and came in corrugated sheets that were used on buildings up and down the land. Loft insulation was as important back then as it is today for keeping warmth in and saving valuable energy from escaping. Though people were not as aware of the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions back then, money was tight.

Thankfully, in the 1970’s its use was outlawed. This came too late for the many unfortunate people who had already lost their lives, and those who still do from exposure decades ago.

Referring back to the title of this article; if you find, or suspect asbestos is present in your home and think of dealing with it yourself, don’t! It’s as simple as that. You risk your life needlessly if you disturb asbestos. Call the experts who will assess and remove the offending material for you. The room that contains the asbestos will have to be quarantined with plastic sheeting and the specialists will only enter wearing protective clothing and positive pressure masks. The ordinary dust mask offers no protection against the tiny asbestos fibres. The asbestos will be bagged and sealed before being removed for disposal. It can’t be sent to the local landfill because it is so hazardous. Once the asbestos is removed, the specialist set to work vacuuming and cleaning every surface within the quarantine area. Only when the cleaning is complete, and all material has been removed, will you be provided with a certificate stating that the area is safe to continue working in. Only then should your project proceed.

I didn’t want this article to be alarmist, but it is difficult not to be, when the danger to life is so great. However, with a little awareness and common sense, the danger can be spotted and treated before anyone comes to harm. Keep your eyes peeled guys and keep safe.


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