Asbestos isn't often used in residential buildings in modern times, due to heavy regulations on its use because of health concerns. If you have an older home that was built prior to the 1980s, though, there are several areas where asbestos may be hiding out. The following can help you figure out where these danger zones could be lurking.
Asbestos insulation is the most commonly known use for asbestos in homes, and it was likely one of the most widespread usages. Asbestos insulation could be hiding in your walls, around your ductwork, and around old furnaces and boiler systems. Generally, the asbestos is safe as long as it is still sealed behind the walls, but it becomes a concern if you decide to do any renovation.
Some older sheet vinyl flooring products also contain asbestos. It was used in the flooring to add strength and heat resistance at the time, before the risks of the material were known. Homes with flooring containing asbestos should have the old floor removed and replaced by a professional asbestos mitigation company to ensure that the contaminants are completely removed from the home.
Asbestos was once mixed into the cement used to make home water tanks due to add strength. Unfortunately, as these older tanks begin to age, asbestos fibers could be shed into your water. If your home has an old water tank it is a wise idea to have your water tested regularly for asbestos. If there is a problem, you need to have the tank replaced immediately.
Ceiling tiles and even some drywall in an old home may contain asbestos. It was especially common in "popcorn" style ceilings, where it may also pose the greatest risk due to crumbling of the popcorn texture. Asbestos was added to ceiling tiles and ceiling materials primarily as a fire retardant. Don't drill into or touch the ceiling at all if there is a chance that it could contain asbestos. Instead, contact an asbestos service to test for the material and perform mitigation, if necessary.
Even the roof wasn't safe from asbestos. Old corrugated roofing and cement shingles were often reinforced and treated with asbestos for fire resistance. Fortunately, most people have had their roofs replaced since these materials were last used, but if you by chance have old materials on your home or an out building it is well worth the expense of having the roofing tested for asbestos.
Contact an asbestos abatement service for more help.