Asbestos was long known for its many great construction qualities before science realized its potential for making people very ill. Because of traits like fireproofing and being resistant to rot and termites, asbestos was used all over the home. For many older homes, this includes in the house’s siding. Homes built before the 80s are significantly more at risk than houses built after that time, but testing is the only way to know for sure.
Why Test? Often when homeowners first learn that their house may contain asbestos, their first response is to panic. Many want to skip testing and go straight to yanking the siding off their home. This is perhaps the worst gut reaction. Asbestos is not harmful until it is disturbed. That means, even if you do have asbestos in your siding, unless the siding is damaged no one is at risk. However, if you start going out and tearing it off of your house, it’s really likely that the siding will become damaged and thus dangerous. Beyond that, residing can be expensive and testing is simple and quick.
If your results say that your siding does have asbestos then things get a little messier. As we already said, undisturbed the asbestos in your siding isn’t going to cause any problems. However, asbestos siding is usually fairly old. It’s also fragile, and it’s likely only a matter of time until it does become cracked or damaged. To complicate matters worse for some, this isn’t a job we’d recommend doing yourself. In fact, the Alberta government restricts asbestos handling to qualified experts only.
If you think that your siding may contain asbestos, take a quick look and make sure it isn’t damaged. Damaged siding needs to be tested as soon as possible, but as long as the siding is in good condition, it can be put off for a little while.
Are you worried that your Calgary home may contain asbestos? Contact the experts at Amity Environmental today at (403) 667-8264.