Owning a home can be an exciting, yet stressful responsibility as many issues may arise that are out of your control and challenging to fix on your own. Some issues are visible to the eye, while others may not be so obvious, such as the air quality of your home. Whether you have been in your home for a long period of time, or just a short while, maintaining the air quality is crucial to the safety of your home and family.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that can be found in building materials. It is often used as a heat protectant and insulator in building materials to keep your home warm, but it can be extremely harmful to your health. If there are any materials in your home that may contain asbestos, exposure to them could be dangerous to both your home and your health.
If you notice that the people who reside in your home are experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pain, or constantly coughing, you may have an air quality issue that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. The latency period between the time you’re exposed to asbestos and could potentially be diagnosed with mesothelioma is 10-50 years, but can vary. Keep track of your symptoms and seek help when needed.
The underlying cause could be a number of things, but may be asbestos fibers living in your home that you never knew existed. Discovering an asbestos issue is something that should be resolved immediately and if you’re looking for some guidance, continue reading to learn more about asbestos and how to rid your home of it.
What To Do If You’re Experiencing Air Quality Issues
As previously mentioned, if anyone in your household is experiencing health issues and you think it may have to do with the air quality of your home, consider performing some tests. Since the air quality of your home isn’t a visible issue, it can be a little more difficult to determine.
You can either perform tests yourself or call a professional to come take a more in-depth look at your home. If you’re interested in conducting the tests yourself, consider purchasing a monitor that tests the air quality in your home.
A professional can also inspect your insulation, floors, ceilings, and more, which can be helpful to accurately detect any issues. You may not know what materials were used to build your house, especially if you live in an older home. Not only could your home contain asbestos, but it may also have some other quality issues that you may not be aware of, such as mold, water damage, and lead or lead dust.
You can experience breathing problems with any of the air quality issues listed, so exploring the issue immediately will be in your best interest. Some other signs to keep an eye out for aside from breathing issues are asthma attacks, allergy symptoms like a runny nose or itchy eyes, and fatigue.
How To Rid Your Home Of Asbestos
If asbestos is found in your home, whether in your floors, ceiling or insulation, they should be removed. Otherwise, if feasible, encapsulation is a less expensive alternative to abatement.
If you begin renovating your home and find it’s a larger issue than you originally thought, you may consider moving out until renovations are complete.
You want to avoid being exposed to the asbestos and dust accumulation in your home, so it may be best to live somewhere else during this process. Working with a professional to test your home and make these fixes will be your best option.
While the cost of replacing these issues can add up quickly, especially if it is for a large space or a majority of your home, it’s the best way for you and your family to stay safe. If you’re attempting to finance these renovations, you may want to take advantage of a cash-out refinance to help cover the costs in full.
Not only will this help cover the cost of all the updates and building materials needed, but by utilizing the equity in your home, you can potentially take out more money than you’d be able to without the help of this option.
Renovating your home to be safer can help you to worry less about potentially finding more asbestos in your home. These renovations can be done on your own terms and budget, but make sure you hire a professional to ensure the asbestos issue is handled properly.
Precautions to Take to Avoid Air Quality Issues
To avoid any future air quality issues, always keep your home clean, and constantly check on any “problem” areas in your home that may be prone to mold, water damage, or could cause a fire.
Making renovations to your home and keeping an eye on potential problem areas can help to avoid any new issues that could arise.
If you live in a home with your family, or even if it’s just you, being aware of the air quality is important, so taking these precautions will help you to live a healthy life.
○ Add dehumidifiers to certain rooms in your home, especially rooms that may not have windows.
○ Clean your home on a regular basis. Dust, pollutants, and odor can live in your home so cleaning your home frequently can improve the air quality.
○ Become aware of building materials and any products you’re bringing into your home. Know what they are made out of and if there are any harmful chemicals or minerals that can cause damage to your home or health issues.
Whether you live in an older or newer home, being aware of the air quality in your home is crucial. Along with that, knowing what materials are in your home can be important to your health. If there are any building materials currently being used to renovate your home that may consist of asbestos or other hazardous minerals, consider switching to something that is safer for your home and health.
If you ever decide to sell your home, the precautions mentioned above will help avoid putting your buyers at risk for asbestosis and is in everyones best interest.
Test Your Home For Asbestos Today
JSE Labs is NVLAP accredited (Lab Code: 200872-0) for asbestos analysis. Whether you have questions about asbestos or need help getting your house tested for asbestos, we can help.
Our staff of knowledgeable, accredited inspectors can tailor any project to fit your needs, whether you’re located in the Portland metro area, or across the United States.
Contact us to get asbestos testing today!
Jennifer is the Laboratory Manager of JSE Labs, and holds a BS in Environmental Studies & Science from Portland State University. She is an avid learner and enjoys exploring new topics related to natural processes and the environment. She has experience analyzing hazardous materials, including asbestos and lead, and is committed to promoting safe and sustainable practices in the workplace and beyond. When not in the laboratory, Jennifer can be found exploring the Pacific Northwest with her Catahoula Leopard Dog, Oliver, or volunteering locally.