5 Things That Can Release Asbestos Into The Home

Posted on: 8 September 2022


Although not as in common use as it once was, asbestos can still be present in your modern home. Originally used as a fire retardant and an insulator, asbestos is found in walls and ceilings, floor tiles, acoustic padding, and in the gaskets, seals, and heat shields of appliances. When sealed up in its housing material, asbestos is not a high risk. If released, though, it can lead to cancer and lung damage.

1. Roof Damage

One of the more common places to find asbestos in the home is the roof. Some roofing shingles still have asbestos cores to protect against fire. Asbestos was also once used in attic insulation and the ceiling wallboard itself. If your roof is damaged, either from age or from something like a fallen tree, you need to have it checked for asbestos immediately.

2. Home Renovations

Asbestos was banned for many home uses in the 1970s, so it is still often present in older homes. Home improvement and renovation projects on older homes run the risk of asbestos exposure when you begin to scrape away old paint or cut through walls, floors, and ceilings. Consult with an abatement service before you begin work so that the home can be checked for asbestos. This way you can take safety steps to limit exposure.

3. Floor Refinishing

It's not uncommon to find asbestos sandwiched in the layers of old flooring tiles or utilized in the adhesive that held the tiles in place. Asbestos was used in flooring as both a fire insulator and to help reduce floorboard noise. It's generally safe as long as the flooring is in good condition, but if your tiles are loose or cracked, or if you are planning to pull them up for replacement, all that asbestos can be released into the air.

4. Appliance Work

Furnaces, including boilers as well as wood or oil models, sometimes have asbestos in their door gaskets or around the various ducts and pipes. You can also sometimes find asbestos in the insulating materials around stoves and ovens. If you are planning to replace or repair old appliances that may contain asbestos, consult first with an abatement service to make sure everything is done safely.

5. Water Leaks

Whether the leak is from your plumbing or due to a roof leak, water seeping into ceilings and wall boards can lead to exposed asbestos. The danger is when the wallboards begin to break apart due to the water damage, which can release asbestos into your home.

Contact an asbestos abatement service if there is any risk of asbestos being released into your home.