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
As we’ve talked about in previous blogs, asbestos regulation and banning in the US is a mess of various federal and state laws. However, certain asbestos products were called out by name to be banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In a blast from the past, you can read this 1977 CPSC press release about “artificial fireplace emberizing materials” containing asbestos suggested as being hazardous and should be removed from chimneys. Today we’ll talk about these ornamental logs, embers, and ash, as well as other parts of the fireplace and chimney that could contain asbestos. [Read more…] about Asbestos in Chimneys, Fireplaces and Ornamental Logs
While many home hazards are due to a choice of construction materials, mold stands alone as a biological hazard that can grow in your home. It’s important to know how to detect the right environment for mold growth, and finding the mold that may reside in your home. Below are some of the common culprits when it comes to dangerous mold, also known as “toxic mold” for the production of mycotoxins (chemicals dangerous to people and animals in their spores). [Read more…] about Five Molds to Look Out For in Your Home
Asbestos has had a long and complicated relationship with construction in the US. Not only in its use in everything from fire-retardant blankets to vinyl flooring, but in how it’s regulated in the United States. These factors, combined with poor record keeping from homeowners, real estate, and home renovation contractors means that it’s always uncertain when buying an older home if there’s asbestos or not. In this blog, we’re going to look at the contributing factors to this problem. [Read more…] about Buying a Home Built Before 1990? It May Contain Asbestos