Asbestos risks

Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

When asbestos can it be a problem in the house?

Today, far fewer products used in the home contain asbestos. The everyday products that have are better built to withstand wear and use.

However, frequent or prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers is always a risk of damaging health. The situation can occur when fibers are released into the air as a result of degradation products containing, either because of the deterioration due to aging or when cutting. People can often put their health at risk without realizing it, they do not take proper precautions when undertaking repairs or renovations disturb materials containing asbestos. This can occur in the following situations:

  • Moving a loose vermiculite insulation that may contain asbestos;
  • Removal of roof shingles deteriorating and siding containing asbestos, or manipulation of felt roofing containing asbestos;
  • Removal of old asbestos insulation around the water heater;
  • Grinding or pickling tile flooring asbestos;
  • Rupture of acoustical tiles for ceilings containing asbestos;
  • Sanding paint containing asbestos or sanding or moving acoustical plaster that gives ceilings and walls a slightly textured appearance;
  • Sanding or stripping old asbestos coverings water-based compounds such as roofing products patching the sealants, paint or putty, caulking or drywall;
  • Size, drilling or smoothing rough edges of new or old asbestos materials.

How to reduce the risks associated with asbestos in the home?

Do not know if products in your home contain asbestos, have inspection work by an experienced contractor. Upon confirmation of the presence of asbestos, the best interim adopt (unless the product is beginning to flake or deteriorate) measure is to seal the surface so that fibers are not released in ambient air. If the product is already protected or isolated, then do absolutely nothing.

It is complex and expensive to remove asbestos and should be done by an experienced contractor. When you move an asbestos product, take maximum measures to protect workers and anyone nearby. Asbestos dust must be confined to the work area so it is not inhaled by people without protection.

It is essential to take appropriate measures. Anyone who works with asbestos should always wear an approved mask and gloves as well as protective clothing. Make sure to tape sleeve and trouser cuffs, and wash work clothes separately afterwards.

Keep the area moist to prevent dust and fiber particles from floating in the air. Isolate the work. Reduce the air pressure to prevent asbestos fibers from escaping from work, and filter the exhaust air. Dispose of all waste as it should, as directed by your provincial Ministry of the Environment. Special conditions may warrant other removal methods. If necessary, consult an expert.

Vermiculite insulation

In some cases, vermiculite may contain asbestos.

  • Do not move the vermiculite insulation in bulk;
  • Do not store items near vermiculite insulation it is possible that the insulation is moved;
  • Do not allow children to approach vermiculite insulation in bulk;
  • If you plan activities that will result in the displacement of the vermiculite, consult an accredited asbestos removal company.

Vermiculite insulation