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4 Home Construction Materials That Can Contain Asbestos

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Asbestos is a fibre-based material that can be very harmful to human health. Although asbestos can sit harmlessly in a building for years or even decades, an event that disturbs the material can release fibres that cause aggressive cancers and lung problems in anyone who breathes them in. Before you embark on any home construction project, it is important to determine whether the construction materials used in your home contain asbestos and to contact an asbestos removal service if they do. Here are four places in your home that it might be lurking.

1. Caulking

Caulk or caulking is a construction material that is used to seal joints and seams in a home to prevent water from seeping in. Buildings constructed before 1980 commonly contain asbestos within their caulking, as it is a highly insulating material that was thought to make buildings more energy-efficient. Asbestos caulking is also common around fireplaces and boilers, thanks to its heat-resistant properties.

Asbestos caulking can be very dangerous if it is damaged by remodelling work, sanding, scraping, water damage or drilling, as these activities can release fibres into the air. Never try to remove asbestos caulking yourself; you should instead contact an asbestos removal service.

2. Cement Sheeting

Cement sheeting covers the exterior parts of many homes. In areas where wildfires are common, cement sheeting is commonly used instead of timber to protect home exteriors. Cement sheeting is also used in the roofs of farm and industrial buildings. If it contains asbestos, it is important to get it removed by a professional instead of trying to do it yourself.

3. Concrete

Asbestos is no longer used as a constituent of concrete, but at one time, it was common practice within the construction industry. Concrete could be found within the walls or floors of your home. Consult the plans for your home or contact an asbestos removal service for advice if you are not sure whether asbestos could be present.

4. Plaster

Construction companies used to include asbestos in plaster to improve its fire resistance. Unfortunately, as the plaster ages and starts to crumble, it can pose a health risk. Gypsum is a common type of plaster that was mixed with asbestos in past decades. If you have this type of plaster in your home, contact an asbestos specialist to find out if there is asbestos present before you start work on any home remodelling project.