Signs That Your Home May Contain Asbestos

Did you know Canada didn't ban asbestos until 2018? 

 

Companies can still use this toxic chemical in some instances. Asbestos is the primary cause of occupational death and the leading cause of mesothelioma in Canada. Don't take any chances and be informed of the key signs of asbestos.

 

Worried your house might have an asbestos problem? Check below for our guide of what to look out for before getting your Vancouver home tested for asbestos.

 

Older Buildings

You guessed it: The number one indicator your house might have asbestos is age. 

 

Asbestos use in homes didn't decline in Canada until the 1970s. Even afterwards, it was still legal to use. The older the house, the more likely it contains asbestos. 

 

Keep in mind: a new home might still have asbestos-containing materials like a cement water tank. For example, a renovated house might have the previous roof corrugated with asbestos. For a useful checklist of potential hazards, take a look at this infographic.

 

Vinyl Tiles

You can't see or smell asbestos. So how can you tell if possible areas can contain asbestos?

 

Vinyl flooring tiles were very popular in the 70s and 80s and often contained asbestos. In particular, tiles of 9 x 9 inches are more likely to have asbestos in them. 

 

Insulation

Older homes often used asbestos for insulation due to fireproofing and insulating abilities. Grey or white insulation on pipes might show asbestos in the area. 

 

Remember, don't start checking for asbestos on your own. Disturbing asbestos-containing materials will only release the toxins into the air. Always call a professional service like BC Hazmat Inspections to test your house

 

Damaged or "Friable" Materials

Don't make the mistake of damaging intact materials that contain asbestos. But, one sign your house might have asbestos is "friable" materials. 

 

Friable asbestos is dry and crumbles with ease. Insulation, plaster, and spackle are examples of friable materials, which are the most dangerous type of asbestos as they spread into the air and your lungs.

 

If your house has friable materials like these, you should contact us right away. 

 

Asbestos Poisoning Symptoms

The highest rates of mesothelioma in the world are in Canada. 

 

Prevent health complications and stop asbestos before it can harm you and your loved ones by looking for signs now. While you can't detect asbestos in your home without professional help, you might already show symptoms of asbestos poisoning. These can include:   

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

Exposure may not cause symptoms for 20 to 30 years, but if you do show signs of asbestosis you should contact a testing service and doctor as soon as possible. 

 

Where To Get Reliable Asbestos Testing in Vancouver?

What do lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma have in common?

 

They're all caused by asbestos poisoning. Even with the signs listed above, asbestos is impossible to detect on your own. Trying to examine old pipes or tiles can damage material fibres and release asbestos that was otherwise contained. 

 

Think you might have asbestos in your Vancouver or Surrey home? The professionals at BC Hazmat Inspections will give you a thorough analysis and peace of mind. Contact BC Hazmat Inspections today.

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