Before very much was known about the dangers of asbestos, it was commonly used in construction materials because of its ability to give added strength, provide heat insulation and deliver fire resistance. So, why is asbestos so bad? Asbestos is a mineral fiber; these fibers are very small and can be easily released into the air. When inhaled these fibers stick to a person’s lungs and stay there for a long time. Being exposed to asbestos over a prolonged period can result in some very serious health conditions such as Asbestosis, a disease that causes scarring of the lungs with fibrous tissue and, Mesothelioma, cancer that affects the chest lining and abdominal cavity.
How might you become exposed to asbestos during a renovation project? If the home was built during or before the 1970s and has not been worked on since then, it's possible you will encounter asbestos. Tearing up flooring, walls or any type of demolition can release asbestos fibers into the air, creating an unsafe working environment.
What should you do? Before you even begin renovations, have a home inspector look at the property for you. If asbestos is found, do not attempt to remove it yourself but hire a company that is qualified to remove and dispose of it in the correct way.