24 Apr Understanding Asbestos Basics for your Palos Heights Property
Asbestos has now been widely accepted as a health hazard. Although it was initially considered to be the best material for insulation, it took decades before medical researchers recognized it as a health danger. Here are some questions that will help you better understand asbestos.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a silicate material that is found in rocks or mines and can easily be made into a fluffy consistency. The fibers of asbestos, in spite of being flexible and soft, are resilient to electricity, heat, and chemical corrosion. This gives it the ability to provide excellent insulation, which is why it was primarily used in construction materials back in the day.
Asbestos can also be mixed with cement, plastic, paper, or cloth to make a stronger heat-resistant material that can also withstand decay and erosion.
Asbestos building materials are classified as either “friable” or “non-friable”. Friable asbestos comes in a form that can be pulverized, crumbled, or crushed to a powder with hand pressure. Friable asbestos was not used in residential construction, but rather, it found its application in asbestos cloth, rope, and pipe lagging.
Non-friable asbestos cannot be pulverized, crumbled, or crushed to powder by hand pressure. Non-friable asbestos found its application in compressed or corrugated asbestos cement sheets, floor tiles, and drainage and flue pipes.
What are the Different Types of Asbestos?
- Chrysolite: Most common silicate material with long, curly fibers present in over 90% of asbestos
- Amosite: Identified with its brown color and found in Africa, it was widely used in cement sheets and pipe insulation
- Tremolite: Predominantly found in vermiculture (composting using worms)
- Crocidolite: Known as “blue asbestos” and found in bundles of long, straight fibers—known to be lethal since it easily crumbles and disintegrates
- Anthophyllite: Long, flexible fibers of magnesium and iron recognized by its grey-brown color
- Actinolite: Found in metamorphic rocks, often green or colorless—was used in drywall or other products
Where Can You Find Asbestos?
In the mid-twentieth century, asbestos was used in many homes because of its strength, flexibility, insulating properties, as well as its fireproofing and soundproofing qualities. It can be found in:
- Floor tiles
- Electrical wire casings
- Roofing and siding tiles
- Soundproofing materials
- Insulation in furnaces, pipes, and attics
Why is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos consists of microscopic fibers that are invisible and cannot be tasted or smelled. This makes it easier for it to be swallowed or inhaled by a person without his or her realization.
Once in the body, these fibers do not dissolve, and over a period of time, they can affect the heart and lungs. Asbestos-related illnesses include blocked arteries leading to stroke and respiratory malfunction, and even lung cancer.
Over a couple of decades, exposure to asbestos fibers can cause scarring, inflammation, and can even cause genetic damage to the cells of the body.
How Can You Check for Asbestos?
If you are renting a house or apartment, you’ll want to confirm with the landlord that there is no asbestos. We recommend asking about the work that has been done to ensure that there is no asbestos present. If you are purchasing an older home, you will want to have a certified asbestos professional inspect the property and report his or her findings.
Looking for an Asbestos Testing and Removal Company in Palos Heights?
Do you have asbestos in your home or commercial property? Are you looking to utilize the services of an asbestos testing and removal company in Palos Heights, Illinois? If so, we at B.B. Construction are the people to see.
Our experienced and highly-skilled professionals would be glad to help with all your asbestos testing and removal needs.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!