Due to its properties of heat resistance, insulation, sound dampening, and low cost, asbestos was used in home and business construction all the way until its partial ban in the late 80s. Homeowners of these older homes need to be aware of the risks in their home, especially before a remodel. We’ve already looked at the basement and the attic for common asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Now let’s look in the living spaces of a home between them.
Wall and Ceilings: Asbestos as a Texturing Agent
Asbestos was used as a texturing agent on walls and ceiling to help them stand out, but also in the underlying drywall and joint compound:
- Popcorn Ceilings: These textured ceiling has become ubiquitous with asbestos. If your popcorn ceiling was installed before 1990, you should get it tested.
- Wall Texturing: Like with ceilings, a “finish system” or textured coating was used to improve properties of the walls (such as sound-dampening) as well as provide visual appeal.
- Drywall and Joint Compound: Asbestos, being able to add structure support, fire resistance, and sound-damping qualities (and being a cheap filler), was a natural choice as an additive.
Flooring: Vinyl Tiles and Flooring Felt
Asbestos was used in vinyl to make them more durable: the long fibers helping to avoid cracks and breaking. Depending on the brand and style, it also provided cosmetic variety with its crystal structure, and, of course, the heat resistance. Asbestos could also be made into fibers and was used as a fire-resistant felt backing for floors, including tiles.
Fireplaces: Fireproof Chimneys and Decorations
The last place to focus on is the fireplace. A centerpiece for many homes, many older homes used asbestos to fireproof the fireplace and chimney:
- Fireplace linings and asbestos-mixed concrete
- Chimney linings, bricks, and mortar
- Fireplace decorations and ornaments, such as logs and ash
Whether you’re dealing with old asbestos products that are beginning to deteriorate or home renovation on an older building, it’s important to get asbestos identified and dealt with. Fiber Control, Inc. is an asbestos abatement contractor with over 60 years of combined experience in the field, licensed and insured in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Contact us today to get started.