Could You Have Asbestos In Your Home?


Asbestos is something that not many people worry about anymore, even though asbestos causes some of the most severe respiratory diseases and a range of cancers, including mesothelioma. If you live in an older building, the chances of having asbestos in your home increase, as modern homes built after it was banned will have no traces. 

Often unless you get a professional to come to your home, you won’t know that you have asbestos or any of the other harmful chemicals and materials that used to be used. 

It is essential to know that asbestos, so long as it is not disturbed in any way, is not considered to be a significant health hazard – however, the chances of it never being disturbed are low. When the asbestos is disturbed or begins to deteriorate, it is more likely to make its way into the air.

What diseases are associated with asbestos?

There is a wide range of diseases that are associated with asbestos, and in many cases, they are untreatable due to how asbestos reacts in the body. Here are some of the asbestos-related diseases: 

  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural effusion
  • Atelectasis

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease, and it means there is scarring and inflammation in the lung.

Do you need to have your home tested for asbestos? 

While you might be well versed in how asbestos looks, no one should go looking for it. Even with the best of intentions breathing in or disturbing it can be detrimental to your health and the health of others. 

If you know that your house is older, then you should book an asbestos survey and test. 

Can I detect asbestos in my home?

Although all of us would like to be in a newer build home or an older home with all of that charm (but made with modern building materials), we don’t. And because of that, millions of people live in a home that has their fair share of issues. 

When it comes to detecting asbestos, one of the things you shouldn’t do is start looking at yourself. Even if you are wearing all of the proper protective materials, glasses, and protective ventilation equipment, there is still a high risk. 

However, if you are still determining if you have asbestos, here are a couple of indicators that you should be booking a professional to come and inspect your home. 

Can I remove asbestos from my home?

When you are faced with the idea of paying a professional first to survey and test and then the removal cost – you might be considering DIY removal of asbestos. In the UK alone, there are over 4,500 asbestos deaths per year, and in the US, there are reported to be about 39,000 deaths due to asbestos-related diseases. 

Yet, that doesn’t stop many people from considering DIY asbestos removal. 

The removal of asbestos isn’t always 100% required because often, when left alone, it poses little harm to those in the home. However, when people begin to do DIY testing or removal, this is an immediate danger. 

Due to the volatile and dangerous nature of asbestos, only certified specialists can remove it. 

Amateur removal of asbestos can lead to serious issues – especially if the person who tried to remove it doesn’t have the correct protective wear. The problem with asbestos-based diseases is that they do not become apparent for around 15 years – and often, they are lethal. 

Where am I most likely to find asbestos in my home?

Corrugated roof

This might be a surprise to many people because corrugated roofing is so common. However, if you have corrugated roofing, this comes with a higher risk of asbestos exposure. You can check what your roofing shingles are made from, and if they are made of corrugated sheets, it is a good idea to ask someone to come and test them. 

Luckily in most cases, roofing can be replaced reasonably quickly, and there are budget options too. 

Old pipes

Older homes or even homes that have been renovated may have older pipes. Any sewage pipes and even some pipes within the house were made from asbestos. Over time these pipes will begin to deteriorate, and when that happens, the water will become contaminated. The asbestos will leach out into the water and be consumed.

Vinyl floors 

One of the most popular flooring options in the 1980s was vinyl flooring, and most often during this time, it was made from asbestos. Asbestos was used liberally because it is so hard wearing, and at the time, people didn’t know about the illnesses that could be caused by asbestos. 

If you know that you have vinyl flooring, you might consider getting it replaced. 

House age

The age of the house is one of the most significant telltale signs that you are likely to have asbestos. 

Any home that was built before the 1980s is expected to have asbestos somewhere in the house. Unless you have proof that asbestos has been removed, it is better to work under the assumption that either the ceiling, floor tiles, or insulation. 

Do I have to declare asbestos if I sell my home?

It is possible for you to sell your home if it does have asbestos. When it comes to Federal law, you are not required to disclose to a buyer that you have asbestos in your home. 

However, local and State requirements may mean that it is illegal to withhold that information – so it is essential to check what the requirements are. Morally it is always better to disclose something that could be harmful to potential buyers, though. 

Not disclosing that you have asbestos or hiding any other information when selling your home is not only illegal, but it could come back to hit you financially at a later date. This is just one of the mistakes that people make when they are selling their home, and here are some others: Common Mistakes People Make When Selling Their Homes