Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used in the construction of buildings as a popular insulating material for many years in Chicago. Asbestos is durable, highly flame-resistant, and energy efficient. Plus, it was a cheap material, which is part of the reason why it was commonly used in the construction industry.
It was only until the 1970s that the health hazards of asbestos were uncovered by scientists and the material was banned from further use.
If you live in an older home in Chicago, your home may be contaminated with asbestos.
In this post, we’ll cover the possible sources of asbestos in your property, the damage it may cause, and preventive measures that can be taken toward its abatement.
What Are the Sources of Asbestos in My Property?
The 4 most likely areas where asbestos can be found in your home are:
Asbestos was widely used as an insulation material, and therefore, it can be commonly found in between the spaces of walls and ceilings. Areas where the ceiling and walls are put together via wooden studs are more prone to asbestos exposure and flaking.
Pipe and Duct Insulation
HVAC ducts that carry hot water, steam, or air were commonly bundled in insulating blankets of asbestos. If there are any cracks or seams in the pipes or ducts, it could very quickly lead to asbestos contamination.
Asbestos was widely used in ceiling tiles due to its soundproofing qualities. Also, owing to its ease of installation, it was a popular choice for homes, especially in basements.
Old wallpapers may have an asbestos layer behind them, and therefore, the surrounding area should always be tested before any wallpaper is peeled or removed. There is a high chance that both the paper and the adhesives used could contain traces of asbestos.
Also, it’s important to note that a visual inspection is not sufficient to determine if your property contains asbestos, or to pinpoint its exact source. Instead, samples will need to be taken from different parts of the home and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
What Is the Damage Caused by Asbestos?
The primary reason why asbestos testing is done is due to the health hazards asbestos poses. It can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma.
Asbestos fibers get released into the air when disturbed. When inhaled, these fibers get stuck in the throat and eventually build up, causing inflammation and other diseases.
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease that causes deep scarring of the lungs and results in difficulty while breathing. The prolonged effect of asbestosis is known to lead to chest pain and even cardiac arrest.
Lung cancer—also known as mesothelioma—is a serious illness that can occur due to asbestos exposure and damages the lungs and abdomen area. Based on the degree of asbestos exposure, it can lead to severe respiratory problems and eventually death.
How to Prevent Asbestos Exposure?
If asbestos-containing materials are well-contained and in good condition (such that the fibers are not at risk of being disturbed or exposed), then it could be left untouched. That said, the structure should be examined regularly for any signs of damage or deterioration.
In some cases, the area can be isolated or even repaired rather than removed. However, complete asbestos removal is the only permanent solution to the problem, and it’s important that you choose a licensed professional to handle the asbestos abatement work on your property. Samples of air should also be taken after the work is completed to ensure the safety of the inhabitants.
Get Professional Help to Conduct Asbestos Testing and asbestos Removal on your Chicago Property
Do you need asbestos testing done in your home or commercial property? Are you seeking a professional service to have it taken care of? If so, Axis Response Group is the company to call.
Our team of Chicago asbestos testing and asbestos abatement specialists have assisted many property owners in the Chicago area. If you are looking for quick and safe asbestos removal, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us today to discuss your needs!