Jan 6, 2014

The Twin Terrors of Renovation: Asbestos and Lead

If you have ever bought a home then chances are remodeling has entered into the picture at some point. This is especially true with older houses whose charm could use some updating. It is certainly worth the time and effort to bring some of these masterpieces back to their showroom quality. However in doing so there are issues that homeowners have to deal with along the way.

Two of the most common problems that are found when renovating an older home are lead and asbestos. Neither one should be handled by the do it yourselfer. It takes a licensed professional to remove both of these items safely.

In the past asbestos was commonly used for insulating and as a retardant against fires. This was quite common in the 50s, 60s and 70s. It was also used a great deal in vinyl flooring, roofing and siding. Any home that is at least 30 years of age will most likely contain asbestos in some places. That is why it is important to schedule an asbestos inspection.

The main health issue linked with this material is cancer. The danger posed by this threat is when fibers are released into the air and breathed into your lungs. When discovering asbestos material in your home, it is best to halt the renovation process and call a licensed contractor. This type of material cannot be recycled. It is important to contact the building authorities in your area to find out the proper methods of asbestos removal to ensure that it is done safely.

The other major issue when renovating a home is lead.

It is a chemical compound that was used in the paint industry in the 70s mainly for coloring purposes. A number of physical maladies have been linked to lead-based paint and including nerve damage, stunted growth among children and hearing loss. The issue wasn't discovered positively until 1978 when it was banned from use in paints.

Lead is one of the most toxic compounds that can be taken into the human body. It can affect all of the major organ system and will pass right through many of the dust masks that people wear when renovating a home. That is why it is essential to contact a licensed specialist who is familiar with lead paint removal. Renovating an older home with this issue is not something that you should ever attempt to do yourself. When removing any kind of paint, avoid sanding and scraping unless you have certified that it does not contain any lead. This can help to prevent the harmful effects that are caused by this chemical.

Lead and asbestos are 2 of the deadliest hazards that can be encountered during a home renovation.

They are not issues that can be dealt with by a homeowner. A professional who is trained and knowledgeable in the abatement of these substances should be contacted to provide for the health of all occupants. Homeowners have to do their own due diligence when dealing with chemical compounds of this type. Renovation of older homes can be a labor of love.

There are unforeseen expenses, issues that tend to crop up and ideas that tend to get changed along the way. But 1 thing that should never be altered is the proper abatement of lead and asbestos.

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