What are the Risks and Dangers of Asbestos in Your Home?
Asbestos was the material of choice in the construction of houses for the majority if homes in the 20th century. Unfortunately, there are many houses in England that are from that era and contain this harmful substance, many homes in and around Cambridge are in need of asbestos roof removal. But what exactly is it and what risks does it pose? Should you get your roofing checked and replaced if it’s made of corrugated asbestos roofing sheets?
Asbestos use dates back to almost 4000BC when it was used as the wick for light sources such as candles and lamps. It was even used to wrap Egyptian Royalty in mummification to slow down the decay of the body.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous substance that was used very extensively in construction after Australians began mining it in the 1880s. Other locations throughout the world including Finland, Zimbabwe and South Africa followed suit and soon began mining of different forms of asbestos. It was used and marketed worldwide for construction of corrugated asbestos roofing sheets and in cement. Why was it so popular back then? Firstly, because of its inherent properties like resistance to fire, thermal insulation and the extra strength it gave to cement.
There was reduced asbestos usage in the 1970s. Just before the turn of the Millennium, any asbestos containing material was banned from being used in the UK.
What are the Risks and Dangers of finding it in your home?
If you have a home that was constructed before the millennium, it may have asbestos. If the garage has those wavy corrugated asbestos roofing sheets, you could be in trouble. That’s because if it’s not well maintained, that ceiling can crack and release the fibres that have been associated with cancer. Other areas where asbestos might be used in the older houses may be the cement walls, gutters and flooring. You may even find it in your loft.
Removing asbestos yourselves is strongly prohibited as you can inhale it and cause all sorts of damage to your lungs. This includes scarring of lung tissues known as pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer, if it gets bad enough. So if you plan on asbestos roof removal, you should consider hiring a professional who has years of experience of removing corrugated asbestos roofing sheets.
Asbestos poses serious health risks for anyone who comes in contact with its fibres. There are two categories of asbestos used in construction. Friable and non-friable.
Friable and non-Friable asbestos
Friable asbestos used in construction is one that is more harmful, as the constructed material can crumble easily with little pressure. This allows it to spread easily into the air and enter people’s respiratory system, making it more of a threat. Non-fibrous asbestos is “safer” and not a threat unless the material is sawed off using and electric saw or drilled into. This is used in corrugated asbestos roofing sheets. If they’re not properly coated with a thick coating of paint or suffer from wear and tear, they may release asbestos fibres into the air, causing health risks. So it’s best to have an inspection to see if you need asbestos roof removal from a professional asbestos removal service.