When envisioning flaking paint in older homes, one’s mind often wanders to thoughts of harmful lead inhalation. However, lead is not the only hazardous substance that can be present in paint; asbestos is also an unseen risk. This can endanger homeowners if they plan on remodeling or the paint begins to chip. That’s why it’s so important to identify and protect yourself from asbestos-containing paint.
When and Why Was Asbestos Used in Paints?
Many people are well aware of asbestos’s use in construction materials – such as ceiling tiles and insulation – but it was also a common ingredient in paints up until the 1980s. While not present in all types, the paints used in older houses can be made up of as much as 10 percent asbestos. Some products that regularly contained asbestos include:
- Textured ceiling paints
- Silver paints
- Paint patching and joint compounds
The reason for its use in paint was that the substance was known for its soundproof and fire-resistant features, which are attractive traits to many homeowners.
Has the Damage from Asbestos-Containing Paint Already Been Done?
You shouldn’t rush to the conclusion that you’re at risk of the negative health effects of asbestos exposure if your home has asbestos-containing paint. If the paint is in good condition and is not damaged or flaking, you are not in immediate danger. Asbestos will not become airborne unless it’s disturbed by general wear and tear, renovations, or demolition. However, you should consider having the paint inspected and, if confirmed to contain asbestos, remediated or removed. Some professional painters may have the experience to detect asbestos, but this job is better left to an asbestos abatement team.
What Abatement Methods Exist for Asbestos-Containing Paint?
It’s important to be aware of the asbestos abatement options available to you should asbestos-containing paint be discovered in your home. If the paint is undisturbed and in good condition, remediation is an inexpensive method of encapsulating the asbestos under a coat of a special type of paint. This will provide a barrier to prevent the paint from becoming damaged and releasing airborne asbestos fibers, but you will be unable to perform demolition or renovations to your home until it’s removed. Otherwise, if the paint has begun to chip or deteriorate, complete removal of the paint and underlying surface is required to protect you from further exposure.
The safest approach to identifying and protecting yourself from asbestos-containing paint is to enlist the help of an asbestos abatement team. At Fiber Control, Inc., our team has the experience to safely encapsulate or completely remove asbestos paint or other hazardous materials from your home. If you wish to have your property inspected or are aware of the presence of hazardous materials, contact us today to schedule an appointment.