7 Signs You Might Have Asbestos in your Home

Author

Alex Bernstein

· 6 min read
7 Signs You Might Have Asbestos in your Home

Asbestos is a material that was used in many homes and buildings from the 1930s until the 1980s. If it’s still in good condition, it doesn’t pose any health risks. Below we outline 7 signs that indicate you might have asbestos in your home:

  • You see visible signs of asbestos in your home.
  • You live in an older home.
  • Your house is in disrepair.
  • You’re familiar with the materials that often contain asbestos in homes.
  • You know where to look for asbestos in your home.
  • You know what products and materials around your home to avoid disturbing.
  • You’re planning a renovation or demolition project.

You see visible signs of asbestos in your home

Asbestos is a known carcinogen, which means that its inhalation can cause cancer. It is also a fire hazard and has been used in many products that are found in homes today, such as insulation and flooring materials. This can make it difficult to detect where the asbestos may be located within your home. Some signs indicating the presence of asbestos include crumbling texture or flaking paint on ceilings or walls. You may also notice white powdery dust on surfaces when you clean them (this is typically from asbestos). If there is any doubt about whether an area contains asbestos, contact an expert for advice on how best to proceed with remediation plans

You live in an older home.

Asbestos was used in many building materials, including insulation, flooring, ceiling tiles and pipe insulation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that if you have an older home built before 1979 or between 1950 and 1970 with fiberglass insulation containing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), the safest thing to do is leave them alone unless there is severe damage or significant deterioration of the ACMs that makes it likely they will become friable (easily crumbled). Friable means something that can easily break apart into tiny fibers when handled or disturbed. In this case you may need professional help to remove them safely.

Your house is in disrepair.

If your house is in disrepair, it's likely that asbestos is present. Asbestos was frequently found in older homes. If you're planning to renovate or demolish your home, it's a good idea to have it tested for asbestos.

You’re familiar with the materials that often contain asbestos in homes.

If you're familiar with the materials that often contain asbestos in homes, then this is a good sign that you may have asbestos in your home.

Asbestos was used in many building materials, including insulation, flooring, and ceiling tiles. If you've lived in a house for longer than about 40 years, there's probably some type of material made with it somewhere in your home (asbestos was banned from most products like this after 1970). Asbestos-containing materials can be found inside or outside the walls.

You know where to look for asbestos in your home.

If you know enough about asbestos to be able to spot it, then you have a good chance of being able to identify the presence of asbestos in your home. There are a number of places where asbestos can be found in the home, including:

  • Attics

  • Basements

  • Roofs

  • Walls (especially basement walls)

  • Floors (ceilings and floors)

You know what products and materials around your home to avoid disturbing.

If you're aware of the dangers of asbestos and what products or materials to avoid disturbing, it's possible that your home might contain asbestos. Asbestos has been used in a number of products since the early 1900s, but the use was banned in 1989. Since then, many homes have had their asbestos removed or replaced with non-asbestes materials. However, if you live in an older home built before 1990 (when federal regulations were passed), then there is a good chance that you may have some areas where asbestos was used.

To determine whether or not your house has any areas with this toxic substance, take note of any floor tiles or drywall which appear damaged or worn out around your home and do not seem to be due to normal wear and tear from years of use. If paint looks faded on walls and ceilings—especially if it appears chipped away at corners—it could mean that there are layers underneath which may have been painted over without first being removed from the surface above them first; these layers are likely made out of plaster mixed with asbestos fibers as well as additional coats meant for aesthetic purposes only (such as decorative finishes). In addition:

  • If there are openings leading into attics where insulation can be seen between rafters/trusses then chances are good that those spaces could contain some form o fasbestos-containing material (ACM) because it was commonly used throughout many building components during previous decades especially when insulation needed space between joists/rafters etcetera; however while these materials were used extensively throughout construction projects including roofing systems they would need to be tested before removing since removing ACM without proper training could lead  to serious health problems due t o exposure levels higher than recommended safety standards allow

You’re planning a renovation or demolition project.

If you're planning a renovation or demolition project, it's important to ensure that you know how to safely remove asbestos-containing materials. You may need to obtain a permit from your local government agency to remove the materials. In addition, if you are hiring a contractor to do the work on your home, be sure they have an asbestos management plan in place or have made arrangements with another business that does have this certification.

  • Check whether asbestos abatement must be performed by certified contractors and/or trained workers

  • Request an asbestos management plan from whoever will be handling the removal of these materials

If you're seeing signs of it, assume it's there and have it tested.

If you're seeing signs of it, assume it's there and have it tested. If you see signs of asbestos in your home, you should have it tested. Asbestos can be found in many different places in a home and its presence is often indicated by the following:

  • Asbestos siding or shingles

  • Asbestos insulation (usually found in basement walls)

  • Condensation on walls where pipes run through them

  • Blackened or burned sections on ceilings

The presence of any one of these things does not necessarily mean that asbestos exists, but if you notice more than one sign at any given time, then it's worth having a professional test performed.

Conclusion

You may not be able to see or smell asbestos, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If you suspect that your home contains asbestos, contact a professional for testing and removal.