Renovating an old home can be an exciting project, one that brings many rewards. It can also bring some unexpected problems which, if you are not prepared for, can significantly add to renovation costs. If the home has not been worked on since it was constructed, you may discover asbestos. So, what are some things you should know about asbestos and why is it so bad?

Asbestos was used in construction materials until the 1970s. It is a mineral fiber that was added to products to give added strength, provide heat insulation and fire resistance. When someone is exposed to asbestos fibers, which are very small, they inhale them and the fibers stick to the lungs, staying there for a long time. There are several diseases linked with prolonged exposure to asbestos. Some of these are very serious such as Mesothelioma, cancer affecting the chest lining and abdominal cavity and Asbestosis which is scarring of the lungs caused by fibrous tissue.

During a home renovation, when are you likely to be exposed to asbestos fibers? Handling materials that contain asbestos puts you at risk of exposure, especially when they are scraped, sanded or disturbed which releases the fibers into the air.

What should you do if you are worried about asbestos in the home? Do not try to handle it or remove it yourself. Instead, have the home inspected and, if asbestos is found, have a professional company take care of it. They will be trained in the safe handling and removal of it.

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