asbestos removal

What Building Materials Contain Asbestos and How to Deal With Them

You don't see asbestos in the news very often anymore, but many buildings in Ottawa still have the dangerous substance. More than half of the federal buildings in Ottawa still have asbestos. Renovations for asbestos removal in Ottawa require specialized professionals to prevent exposure. Not sure what kind of building materials contain asbestos? If you're looking at how to reduce asbestos exposure and avoid asbestos products, continue reading!


What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a type of naturally occurring mineral. These six minerals are heat-resistant. Because of their resistance to heat and corrosion, these fibres were popular in common building materials. Construction techniques used asbestos products as insulators for decades. In 2018, the federal government banned asbestos use and export in Canada due to asbestos causing lung cancer and other diseases. Asbestos becomes a hazard when the fibres get disturbed. The fibres must get airborne to pose a risk of exposure to asbestos.


What Building Materials Contain Asbestos?

Many common building materials in older structures contain asbestos. Even some older automobiles contain this hazardous material! Asbestos is often found in buildings erected before 1990. The material got used to insulate against harsh Canadian weather and reduce noise. Asbestos was previously used for fireproofing as well. Everyday building materials that may contain asbestos include:

·       Plaster and cement

·       Insulation in walls and attics

·       Insulation around pipes and furnaces

·       Exterior siding

·       Ceiling and floor tiles 

·       Heating systems

·       Drywall materials

Other building products to watch out for include soundproofing material, adhesives on old floor tiles, and faux-fireplace logs and embers. If you think there is a risk of asbestos in your home or office, there are steps to reduce the risk of exposure.


Steps to Reduce Exposure to Asbestos

Reducing exposure to asbestos products by not disturbing insulation, ceiling tiles, or flooring in older homes. Using a certified, professional team to determine the level of risk before renovating is essential to stay safe. Other tips to reduce exposure include:

·       Avoid going into the attic and avoid using the attic for storage

·       Filling cracks or holes in the ceiling so insulation fibres can't fall through

·       Avoid disturbing a textured or panelled ceiling

·       Do not put holes in your walls.  If holes are needed hire a professional

It isn't possible to identify asbestos by looking at it. Asbestos products don't give a tell-tale smell either. The only way to determine if a building material contains asbestos is to get it professionally tested.


Asbestos Removal in Ottawa

Remember, asbestos is only hazardous if it is disturbed and becomes airborne. Before starting any renovations on an older home, it's crucial to know if asbestos products are present. Professional services and tests are regulated by both the provincial and federal governments to ensure public safety. If asbestos is found, an abatement process gets undertaken to mitigate hazardous risk. Depending on the type of asbestos, the abatement process may start with enclosing the dangerous area. Then the experts remove the asbestos and decontaminate it from all airborne fibres.


Keep Your Work and Home Safe

Eventually, all older homes and buildings require renovations. The prevalence of asbestos in older building materials means there is a risk in undertaking renovations without testing for this hazard. Keep your family or staff safe by reducing your asbestos exposure. O'Reilly Brothers provide professional asbestos removal in Ottawa and safe insulation replacement. Contact the Insulation Specialists today for all your safe insulation needs!