We’ve long understood the dangers of inhaling and disturbing asbestos fibers. Especially in older homes, it’s crucial for homeowners to know the risks and to act appropriately. Older homes can have asbestos in many different places, like attic insulation, furnaces, floor tiles, and hot water pipe insulation. The common wisdom is that you should not disturb asbestos, but rather leave it in place. If it gets disturbed, you’ll need to seek the help of a professional asbestos abatement company to take care of the problem.
The question many homeowners have, however, is how to identify asbestos in the first place! For instance, asbestos can be found in some different kinds of walls and loose-fill attic insulation. If it’s sealed up in batt form, there is no cause for concern, but if it has been poured loosely into joists or stud cavities, there may be more trouble.
Your best course of action is to have an attic professional inspect your attic insulation to ensure that there is no asbestos present, or if it is, help you understand if it is dangerous and needs to be mitigated. If it poses no risk, it likely can be safely left in place.
How can I tell if my insulation contains asbestos?
Close inspection can usually indicate whether or not your attic insulation contains asbestos. For instance, if the loose-fill is gray, soft, and lacking a shine, it is most likely made from cellulose containing a high content of the recycled paper and no minerals. If it looks like it’s just shredded paper, it’s probably safe.
You may see insulation that is white and fluffy but with a slight shine. More often than not, this kind of attic insulation is fiberglass. The subtle sheen is caused by the light shining on the tiny glass fibers that it is made out of. Soft to the touch, fiberglass attic insulation can cause skin irritation and breathing issues, but it is asbestos-free and poses no long term health effects.
Other kinds of attic insulation are composed of materials, both natural and man-made. Some pose slight health risks, but those containing asbestos need to be taken care of immediately. Unfortunately, the only way to honestly know if there is an issue is by performing a close inspection of the materials and testing them to see any dangerous compounds present. Many harmful substances can hide in your insulation. Be sure to get it inspected by professionals to avoid harming yourself or your family.
I own an older home. Who should I contact to check my attic insulation for asbestos?
Attic Projects attic insulation technicians are the true experts when it comes to inspecting attic insulation for asbestos. We use the latest, safest protective gear to safely and effectively inspect your attic insulation. We can help you determine whether or not the problem poses a risk, and if so, are the experts when it comes to asbestos mitigation.
The potential of exposure to you and your family by asbestos should not be a concern that keeps you up at night. Let the Attic Projects professionals give you peace of mind. Give us a call, and we’ll make sure that your attic insulation is safe and effective.