Most people know about the dangers of asbestos these days. If you’re exposed to a high dose of asbestos or are exposed to it over a long period of time, it can lead to serious respiratory problems and even lung cancer.
If you’re worried that you might have asbestos in your home, there are a few signs that you can watch out for or consider to help you decide whether there is a risk to your health. But all in all, you need to have a proper survey to know for sure.
There are three main things you can do or think about to tell whether you need to call in a professional.
1. The age of your home
If your home was built before 2000, it’s very likely that it was insulated with asbestos.
The substance wasn’t banned until 1999, so any homes built before then are at risk, but those built between 1950 and the late-1990s are most likely to have it.
The fibres start to degrade over time, so the longer it is present in your house the more dangerous it becomes. The fibres are also released into the air when it is disturbed, so if you have had any renovation work done at the property it could have increased your chance of exposure.
2. Check visually
It’s a myth that asbestos always looks white and chalky. It can actually come in lots of different forms – over 3000 in fact. That’s why it’s really important that you always get a professional to inspect the property if you suspect that there is asbestos there.
Arrange for a professional to come and do a survey to properly assess the risk.
3. Don’t smell it – you can’t!
Another myth is that you can smell asbestos. It’s completely untrue. If you do notice a strange smell in your home, especially around insulation or piping, it’s more likely to be damp or mould.
But this doesn’t mean you’re safe from asbestos – always seek professional guidance to identify whether you need any removed.