In this blog, we’ve gone over many of the asbestos construction materials that can exist in your home or at work. We’re looking at asbestos felt, a material used often in home construction to provide additional fireproofing to any material it backed. Prominent in both the construction of both roofing and flooring, asbestos felt is particularly dangerous as it is damaged or destroyed during new roofing or flooring projects, causing the friable material to become airborne where it is most dangerous. Let’s learn more.
The Applications of Asbestos Felt
Asbestos felt was usually created be compressing asbestos textiles and mixing them with a binding agent, usually dependent on the application (for instance, roofing felt might contain asphalt). Due to its fire resistance and lightweight, it saw widespread application up through the late 1980s.
- Asbestos Roofing Felt: Asbestos became popular in both roofing shingles, and then the roofing felt below them, much in part to the rise of “built-up roofing” that was used in the heyday of asbestos use.
- Asbestos Floor Felt: Having fireproof floors, especially in the kitchen, brought asbestos products into the kitchen, both in the vinyl tiles themselves, as well as for padding and insulation as a backer to the tiles.
- Other Processes: Asbestos felt could also be found in industrial applications, such as being used in paper mills for drying paper pulp.
Asbestos Felt and Litigation
As you can imagine, all this use be roofing and flooring contractors lead not only to health problems for the owners of these buildings, but also the construction workers themselves. Asbestos has a long history of litigation in the US and has been one of the primary ways it has been effectively banned in the country. As an example, floor-covering contractor Robert Ehret was diagnosed with mesothelioma after two decades of installing asbestos felt. While he died during litigation, he ended up winning his case against the manufacturers of the products.
All these things together mean that large amounts of asbestos dust can be released from buildings during renovation, demolition, or just the passage of time. Many construction products manufactured and installed before the 1980s could contain asbestos. If you’re worried about asbestos in your home or business, or your contractor has discovered the presence of this hazardous building material, we can help. Fiber Control, Inc. are experts in asbestos abatement. Contact us today to learn about your options when it comes to removing asbestos.