Asbestos is a very dangerous material to have on your property, although it doesn't always need to be outright removed. The fibres are dangerous and damaging to your health when they're inhaled, so you may be able to simply contain any asbestos you should find on your property. Before you decide on how to handle asbestos, note a few commonly asked questions about the material and its handling and removal, so you know your property is safe.
1. How can you determine if a home you want to purchase has asbestos?
Asbestos came under heavy regulation in most areas in the last few decades, so note the home's age; if it's more than a few decades old, it may be at higher risk for having asbestos. However, rather than assuming you can spot asbestos yourself, have the home inspected by an actual asbestos inspector. The fibres may look like other forms of insulation or building materials, or you may confuse fibreglass and other such safe materials with asbestos.
2. Can a person handle small amounts of asbestos safely?
Don't confuse asbestos with fibreglass and other such materials when it comes to handling it; you may be able to cut fibreglass insulating mats yourself without worrying about safety, but asbestos is very different. Inhaling even a small amount of the fibres is dangerous, if not downright deadly. Note, too, that trying to remove some asbestos from the home can mean allowing it to become airborne or loosening other sections of asbestos that you can't readily see. If you know or suspect there is asbestos in your home, even if you see a small amount, have this handled by a licensed asbestos removal contractor.
3. How does asbestos get into a property's soil?
You might be confused and sceptical when told that your property has asbestos in the soil, assuming that this material has only been used for insulation. However, asbestos is a naturally occurring substance that is often found in soil, or it may have settled there from having become airborne after being used in a nearby property. Construction and renovation of a building with asbestos can mean allowing it to come loose and become airborne, as an example. The fibres may also settle into water supplies and then get mixed into the soil as this water travels and collects on your property's soil. A removal expert can tell you if the soil needs to be removed and replaced or if you need to add lime or clay to make it more solid and keep the asbestos from becoming airborne.