How Can You Tell if Your Home Has Asbestos?

26 February 2018
 Categories: , Blog

Whilst you've probably heard of asbestos in ceilings, that's not the only place that you need to worry about it. Asbestos can be hidden in your home, but if you know what to look for you may be able to identify some of the tell-tale signs. Below, you'll learn what to consider and what to check for when trying to identify asbestos in your home. 

When Was Your Home Constructed?

Your home's year of construction may be directly tied to whether it has hidden asbestos or not. Homes that were built in the years up until 1990 frequently contained asbestos. Many of today's home may still contain that asbestos in multiple areas. If your home was built pre-1990 and has never been checked for asbestos, it's best to contact an asbestos removal company for an evaluation.

What do the Floor Tiles Look Like?

Certain types of floor tile are likely to contain asbestos. Asbestos was included in many types of linoleum, vinyl, asphalt, and other types of tiles produced before 1990. You may be able to identify asbestos fibres in floor tiles visually -- they may appear as a snowflake-like pattern against a dark or light background. However, in some cases the floor sheeting may reveal no visual clues because the asbestos is within the floor padding. Asbestos professionals may need to detach the edges of the sheeting to check.

What Does the Wall and Attic Insulation Look Like?

If you have loose wall or attic insulation in your home, take a close look at it (don't touch it.) If the insulation contains asbestos, it's going to have either a white, off-white, or dark blue colour. Many people liken the appearance to candyfloss. Although asbestos is quite light and delicate looking, it's dangerous for you and your family to be anywhere near it.

Can You See the Pipe Insulation?

As with the walls and the ceilings, the pipes in older homes were often insulated with asbestos. Asbestos, as described above, looks like candyfloss in most cases. The asbestos is typically wrapped around the pipes and then covered in a solid plastic cover, but you can see the asbestos by looking at the ends of the pipes in many cases.

It can also appear more solid -- spray asbestos was often used on pipes to form a snug type of insulation for pipes. It can look quite similar to spray foam insulation, although the texture is different. Don't test the texture by touching -- this is where the asbestos removal professionals come in to diagnose and remedy the issue. 

If you've noticed any of these signs of asbestos in your home -- or if your home was built before 1990 -- it's best to contact a local asbestos removal company straight away. Taking a few moments to arrange an evaluation now could save your health in the long term!