Securing Asbestos Plaster in your Home
Many old homes have asbestos as part of their structure. This was because the natural mineral fibers of asbestos were the preferred building material before the 1980s because they have a high heat resistance and they are also easy to manufacture due to the low cost of the raw materials. Therefore asbestos can be found in the plasters of many houses and also in several fittings as well. After the 1980s the use of asbestos as a construction material was banned as asbestos was linked to several life threatening diseases. Exposure to asbestos can lead to lung cancer and also scarring of the lungs which are all terminal disease with death occurring after 12 months of diagnosis.
Therefore asbestos plasters have been banned and houses that still contain asbestos are either demolished or the asbestos in the houses well managed to prevent the fibers from contaminating the air. If you should discover asbestos plaster in your home you need to take extreme precautions to make sure that the fibers do not spread in the air. Asbestos presents a real health hazard to you and your family therefore the integrity of an asbestos plaster should be preserved and maintained at all times. This involves making sure that the plaster is not disturbed in any way so as to avoid the fibers from contaminating the air. But before you can do this, you need to identify the asbestos plaster in your home, if there is any. Asbestos is hard to detect by sight alone and you require the use a special kind of microscope so as to detect it. This is because asbestos does not have a particular smell or taste that can make it easily distinguishable and it comes in many colors. However, the easiest way to determine if a building has any asbestos in it is to consider its age. Any building that dates back to the 1980s will probably contain asbestos plaster.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S states that currently, there are over 3,000 materials that contain asbestos in them that are still in use today. Therefore, identifying the source of asbestos is also a sure way of knowing whether your home has any form of asbestos in it.
Asbestos plaster is one such source therefore you should be very keen while looking at your walls. Handle them with extreme caution until it is proved that they do not have asbestos by a professional. When asbestos plaster is detected in your home, the best course of action is to remove the fibers in the walls. To safely do this, you should contact an expert who will safely remove the offending material and dispose of it safely. However, you can still remove the asbestos plaster yourself. Make sure that you follow the recommended procedure to ensure that you get rid of the asbestos. Some of the basic tips to remove the fibers are: first identify the portion that has asbestos in it, secondly, wet the area with water so that the fibers do not spread in the air, and thirdly wear a face mask while removing asbestos plaster so that you do not accidentally inhale it.