Friday, January 14, 2011

Asbestos in the Home

This article was provided by and posted at the request of PleuralMesothelioma.com, committed to providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on pleural mesothelioma cancer. PleuralMesothelioma.com is the Web's most inclusive resource solely dedicated to this rare cancer.
Please be aware that home inspections, as regulated in the State of North Carolina and most other states, do not require the home inspector to address asbestos or any other potential environmental concern in the home. This and most home inspectors exclude asbestos and environmental issues as part of their inspection process. That being said, this inspector, should he observe any issues which might indicate asbestos in the home, will suggest further evaluation by the appropriate professional.

Asbestos in the Home

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Asbestos was highly regarded throughout the 20th century as an ideal building and construction material. It’s fire resistant, durable and versatile qualities made it sought out by many industries. Typically found in insulation's, piping, popcorn ceilings, roof shingles and flooring, asbestos was used throughout the 20th century as a form of insulation for piping, roofing and flooring.

Many homes and buildings built prior to 1980 may still contain asbestos, but even homes built in the years after may harbor asbestos.

Because vermiculite is also an inexpensive and readily available mineral, it is an important addition in many of products that we use every day to insulate our homes and fertilize our gardens. When it is tainted by impurities such as asbestos, it can be extremely harmful to the health of your family. Although Vermiculite alone does not contain asbestos, it came from one single mine that contained a large amount of asbestos.

Homeowners and inspectors should be aware that even vermiculite insulation from the 1990’s can contain asbestos and the proper precautions should be taken to avoid unnecessary problems and potential exposure to this material.

Asbestos Tips and the Value of a Home Inspection

According to the experts, the general rule of thumb is if the asbestos is in good shape, it's posing no apparent risk. If it's in bad shape, it could be a problem. It is recommended for homeowners to leave any suspected asbestos alone, as this can takes its fibers airborne and this is where it becomes dangerous. Removal of asbestos, if necessary, must be performed by a licensed contractor.

Receiving a professional home inspection is something that cannot be understated. Many building substances can become a problem for homeowners due to the negative health effects that can occur if not identified. A professional home inspection is extremely important to protect your investment. Professional consultants can provide an evaluation of the home and will identify material defects in structures and components of the home, in adherence to or exceeding national, state, and industry regulations and standards.

Not only should potential home buyers take this into consideration, but those performing demolition, renovation or abatement must take precautions to avoid exposure at all costs. Generally, asbestos appears in roof shingles, attic insulation, dry wall board, popcorn ceilings, joint compounds, electrical wires and furnace cement.

Asbestos fibers are thin and strong, and when inhaled frequently, an individual can develop mesothelioma, a rare but severe lung ailment caused by asbestos exposure. There are a number of factors that can impact mesothelioma survival rate. These factors include latency period, age of diagnosis and cigarette smoking.

GREEN Alternatives to asbestos

There are many green, Eco-friendly materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually. The implementation of Eco-construction, green energy solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world.

Green alternatives to asbestos include the use of cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Cotton fiber is made from recycled batted material and treated to be fireproof. A water based spray polyurethane foam, lcynene features no toxic components. These green options have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components.

By having a professional contractor inspect your home, you can avoid the stress and problems associated with not knowing that asbestos and other harmful building materials are present in your home.

For additional information visit Asbestos.com and/orPleuralMesothelioma.com

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