Home asbestos removal: to DIY or not to DIY? That is the question.
If the inquiry pertains to a normal and risk-free project, we would’ve said yes and supported you 100%. But since asbestos is a health hazard, removing it by yourself is not highly recommended.
Hiring professionals to do all the work is a much better option. So if you suspect that your house has an asbestos presence, look for the best asbestos inspection company to have your property checked.
While you’re at it, read on, and learn more about asbestos.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a construction material that was widely used in the early 40s up to the 70s. Many developers and builders preferred this material because its cheap, durable, and highly resistant to fire.
It was first applied mostly to steel beams, columns, and other parts of a house or building that needs fireproofing.
Because of its effectiveness in repelling heat, asbestos was applied to other areas of the house eventually:
- floor tiles
- vinyl materials in roof shingles
- joint compounds
How can asbestos affect you?
While asbestos was a staple and helpful construction material back then, it was eventually discovered that its breathable dust and fibres can lead to several complications like lung diseases and sometimes, even cancer.
Generally, asbestos won’t put you at risk if it’s kept intact or in good condition. The problem occurs when this material was disturbed in any way, and you were able to inhale its dust.
For example, if you start renovating your house and use power tools on walls where asbestos is present, thousands of asbestos dust will be released into the air.
Another example is when an earthquake hits your area. If portions of your house start to crack or crumble and leave the asbestos material exposed, there’s a great chance that you’re going to inhale its fibres.
Once you’re exposed to asbestos, it could be the start of numerous health problems. Currently, three diseases are linked to asbestos inhalation: asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
As the name suggests, this disease is directly linked to asbestos exposure. It’s the scarring of the lungs caused by asbestos dust and fibres.
Scarred lungs can restrict your breathing, so you’ll experience shortness of breathing more often.
The tricky part is if asbestos is not detected or not diagnosed early, it can lead to a worse condition like a cardiac failure.
There’s a common misconception that lung cancer is only caused by smoking tobacco. Unfortunately, accidental inhalation of asbestos is also one of those causes.
Lung cancer occurs when you inhale asbestos dust and it latches onto the lung tissues. Once that happens, the dust can cause genetic and cellular damage and turn those cells into cancerous ones.
A mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. But it doesn’t occur on the actual lungs. It occurs only in the membrane lining of several organs like the lungs, chest, abdomen, and heart.
Chest pains and shortness of breath are only some of the symptoms of this disease.
The worst thing about this type of cancer is that it can only be detected once the cancerous cells have already spread throughout the body, leaving the doctors no option but to give the patient a life expectancy of 12 months.
These are the main reasons why renovating your house by yourself is not recommended if you know that there’s asbestos presence in your property.
In case you don’t know yet if there’s asbestos in your house, it’s always good to ask your landlord for Greenlight Services Asbestos Register.
If there isn’t any, and your house was built from the 40s to 70s, you can have your house inspected for asbestos presence.