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How can I identify asbestos in my house?

Last week, we told you about the various do's and don'ts homeowners should follow if they believe certain materials and products in their home may contain asbestos. This week, we are offering tips on how you can go about identifying whether the questionable material is actually asbestos or not.

Unfortunately, unless the suspected material has a label that clearly says it contains asbestos, there is really no guaranteed way to determine by sight if it is asbestos -- meaning some form of testing may be required.

While do-it-yourself asbestos test kits exist that allow you to collect suspected asbestos samples and send them to a lab for review, it is often much safer to have your home inspected by a trained, and accredited, asbestos professional.

In fact, as noted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if done improperly, collecting asbestos samples by yourself can put you and your family in more danger than if you simply left the suspected material alone. This is why you should hire an asbestos professional if:

  • You find suspected asbestos in your home
  • You plan a home renovation/remodel and you think asbestos may be disturbed during this process
  • Your home has some type of damaged material that you suspect may contain asbestos, such as insulation

Simply put, professionals know what to look for, so you should allow them to collect samples for analysis. After all, why should you needlessly put your family at risk? Oftentimes, the worst thing you can do is nothing.

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