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When asbestos is present, DIY could be detrimental to your health

If your house was built prior to the 1980s and you have some home repairs you want to tackle, you might want to proceed with caution.

It is common for various industries to gravitate toward inexpensive products, which is why the construction industry used asbestos frequently throughout the 20th century. Its fire-retardant and insulative properties made asbestos the product of choice to insulate pipes in many houses. It could also be woven into numerous materials to make the hardier and more fire-resistant, which is why asbestos could exist in various materials throughout your home.

Where household materials may cause concern

Many homeowners are interested in do-it-yourself (DIY) repairs or renovations. However, your zest for home improvements could be harmful if not handled properly.

Asbestos is not harmful if you leave the products that contain it alone and they remain in good condition. However, in the process of making upgrades to your home, you could disrupt the asbestos fibers as you scrape, sand and saw.

You could turn your home into a health hazard by working with household materials made from asbestos. These products may include:

  • Linoleum flooring
  • Attic insulation
  • Paint
  • Caulking
  • Plaster
  • Duct insulation for HVAC systems

If you live in an older home and want to do repairs, it would be wise to hire a professional to check for the presence of asbestos. Through an assessment and material analysis, they can direct you toward contractors who have experience in safely handling the repair and removal of asbestos-laden materials.

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