When it comes to building construction prior to the 1990s, asbestos – the “miracle mineral” with previously ignored health concerns – rears its ugly head. Asbestos use was prolific in the United States and throughout the world and is still used in some places and applications even after its health issues have been widely documented. We’ve talked in the past about asbestos’ use in construction as both an electrical insulator and thermal insulation. Today we’re focusing on drywall, also known in different countries, brands, and materials as plasterboard, wallboard, gypsum board, or sheetrock. [Read more…] about Is There Asbestos in Your Drywall?
Let’s say you’ve found asbestos in your home. What should you do about it? Leaving it alone is a poor choice, as if it becomes (or is) airborne, it can lead to long-term health issues. Upon discovery, it’s time to consult an asbestos abatement specialist: they will provide one or more of three major options. Asbestos encapsulation, asbestos removal, or asbestos demolition are possible choices under the asbestos abatement umbrella. [Read more…] about Encapsulate, Remove, or Demolish Asbestos: When to Do Which
Sandblasting is an effective way of cleaning any hard surface quickly and completely. While similar to power washing, sandblasting – also known as abrasive cleaning for the various mediums that can be used in the process – is the use of sand or another granule with high-pressure air to remove grime, paint, or even wall coverings like stucco from brick, concrete, CMU, or other hard surfaces. Below we’ll go over the common applications, and when sandblasting is something you should use. [Read more…] about When Should You Use Sandblasting?
Asbestos was hailed as a “miracle mineral” due to its fire retardant and insulative properties – good marketing helped as well. In the 1930s through 1960s when other insulators like rubber or ceramics were too costly to use, asbestos sometimes took its place in electric insulation, most notably in electrical wire insulation. While not as prevalent as the other uses of asbestos in building construction, asbestos electrical insulation can be hard to find and identify. [Read more…] about Asbestos Electrical Insulation: Danger in the Walls
Asbestos is a dangerous substance in the right – or perhaps wrong – circumstances. In these situations, asbestos is exposed to air and by time and mechanical action caused to fragment and send asbestos fibers – crystal filaments thinner than a human hair – into the air. This can lead to several serious health conditions, which we talked about in our blog, Hazardous Materials: How Asbestos Makes You Sick. This blog focuses on explaining one of the health conditions in more detail: asbestosis. [Read more…] about Asbestos Inhalation: What is Asbestosis?
Hazardous materials in a home (such as asbestos, mold, lead, and other toxic materials) are often not found during home inspections or pose a current threat to you. However, this all changes when you decide to renovate a part of your property. Problems that were safely encapsulated or hidden away can surface as materials are cut into, demolished, or simply removed. As such, during planning and preparation phases of a renovation, it’s vital to locate and neutralize potential hazardous materials before anything is disturbed. [Read more…] about How to Find Hazardous Materials Before Renovating