So, you’ve finally saved up enough money to renovate your basement. But what do you do when your contractor asks if you have asbestos in your home? Isn’t that only a problem in older homes built before the 50s and 60s?
Asbestos is now banned in Canada, but it can still be found in many homes and buildings. That’s why you need to be aware when doing renovations. As long as it is tightly bound and in good condition, like when sealed behind walls and floorboards, or when isolated in an attic and left undisturbed, asbestos shouldn’t be a major concern. But renovation work could expose you and your family to serious risks by disturbing it. Health Canada warns that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases.
Although the use of asbestos was on the decline from the 1970s, it was still used until 1990 for insulating homes against cold weather and noise, as well as for fireproofing. Asbestos was also sometimes found in cement and plaster, house siding, floor and ceiling tiles, and furnace and heating systems.
Before doing any renovations, remodelling or demolitions, reduce your risk of potential exposure to asbestos by hiring a professional to test for it. If they find asbestos, bring in a qualified removal specialist to get rid of it before beginning your work. Removing asbestos should never be a do-it-yourself project—avoid disturbing asbestos materials and let the professionals handle it.
Find more information at canada.ca/healthy-home.
Concerned about your home’s indoor air quality? Find out more about AmeriSpec of Canada’s healthy home services by visiting amerispechealthyhomes.ca.
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