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Asbestos and Lead Testing

Prior to any major remodeling project, you’ll need to have your home checked for asbestos and lead. In newer buildings, you normally won’t have a problem with this, but older buildings may test positive in the testing process, and then removal of the lead or asbestos will be necessary. Read the article below to learn all about lead and asbestos testing, and what to do if they’re found in your home.

1. What is asbestos? Asbestos is a strong, fire-resistant mineral fiber. Until the late 1980's, it was commonly used in building materials, but since then has been banned in the United States. The reason why it’s been banned is because asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen, as it may cause mesothelioma (cancer of the thin lining covering most organs) and lung cancer.

2. Why test for asbestos? The reason you want to test your home for asbestos is because through the renovation process, houses containing asbestos products can release asbestos fibers, which are very fine and can stay in the air for longer periods of time. They can then be inhaled into your lungs. An asbestos test usually requires a certified inspector to come to your home and take samples, that are then sent to the lab. This process usually only takes a few days.

3. What happens if asbestos is found in my home? If the results from the inspection come back saying that you have asbestos in your home, then an asbestos abatement will need to be conducted. You will have to vacate your house, and the part of the building where asbestos is being removed will typically be sealed off to prevent further contamination into other areas of your home. The entire abatement process is relatively complex, but essentially after all the contaminated areas are carefully sealed off, a special HEPA vacuum is used to clean up the asbestos areas. The waste then gets carefully sealed in containers and is transported to a landfill.

4. Why is lead so dangerous? Lead is a toxic metal that was used in products in around your homes. In buildings that were built prior to 1978, it is more likely to be found. Starting in 1978, lead- based paints were banned and are therefore lead in newer homes isn’t really an

issue. An overexposure to lead can cause lead poisoning, which is especially dangerous for children. When you get a lead inspection done for your home remodeling project, usually inspectors look for lead in your home’s paint. But lead can also occur in water, food, and soil. But testing for lead in these areas require an additional inspection.

5. What happens if lead if found in your home? It’s advisable to hire a contractor experienced in lead removal to remove lead paint. If the removal isn’t done properly, you and other areas or your home can get further contaminated. In general, all sources and products containing lead will have to be removed before you being your remodeling project.

Sources: safety-tips/how- to-remove- lead-paint- safely/view-all/

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