The understanding of the dangers of asbestos is a relatively new thing. In fact, asbestos used to be a relatively common building material and many older buildings and homes still have it.
Thus, when homeowners set out to buy a home, they should know what to keep an eye out for if they decide to look at older homes.
Common indicators of asbestos
The Environmental Protection Agency discusses the negative impacts of asbestos. Asbestos has numerous ill effects on the human body, including extensive damage to the lungs carried out over a prolonged period of exposure. It can even cause cancer in some.
So what should a person look out for? First, beware of houses made before the early 1980s, as this is when asbestos was still in common use.
Next, check for corrugated roof shingles made between the 1920s and 1970s. Cement sheet walls also contain asbestos, along with millboard or vinyl flooring from between the years 1952 and 1982. Cement water tanks and insulation made from vermiculite may also contain asbestos.
The dangers of asbestos in the home
Generally speaking, asbestos does not become truly dangerous unless it is airborne. Thus, having asbestos in a home is not automatic cause for concern.
However, activities that may disturb these fibers could put everyone at risk. This especially includes remodeling projects, which involve tearing down old parts of the house and exposing the asbestos material inside.
People with older homes should thus always test for asbestos first before doing any renovation projects. The only way to test for asbestos is via lab sampling, which is important to keep in mind.