You bought a fixer-upper because it’s a great investment, but you can’t live with the popcorn ceilings. I’m sitting under an ugly popcorn ceiling right now. We get it. The problem there is popcorn ceilings in homes built before 1977 may contain asbestos. There are a lot of ways you can save money by doing it yourself, and removing asbestos shouldn’t be one of them.
Is it legal to remove asbestos yourself? Yes, as long as you live in a detached, single-family home. Is it recommended? Definitely not. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you hire an accredited abatement professional who is specially trained to perform this potentially deadly task.
Even asbestos removal crews can be at risk of developing mesothelioma if their protective gear isn’t adequate, it doesn’t fit well, or they don’t follow safety protocols. It’s just not worth it to take this risk yourself.
Where Asbestos May Be Found in Your Home
Finding out that there is asbestos in your home is right up there on the scale of homeowner nightmares with finding out you’ve got lead paint. Unfortunately, it happens, and you can even expect it if you buy an older home. So where might asbestos be in your house? Asbestos may be found in your:
- Ceilings (popcorn and ceiling tiles)
- Floor tiles
- Roof shingles
- Pipe cement
- Joint compound
Before you do any demolition work in your home, you should have it checked out by professionals to make sure you aren’t about to expose yourself to asbestos fibers. What they can do to your lungs isn’t pretty.
How Asbestos Causes Cancer
You can swallow or inhale microscopic asbestos fibers that are floating through the air. Anytime you disturb asbestos in your home, you run the risk of causing these fibers to become airborne. Once these fibers are in your lungs or your abdomen—either by being inhaled or being swallowed—there is no way you can remove them.
Asbestos fibers irritate and inflame the lining around your lungs, and they can also get inside your lungs and into many other organs. Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. While asbestos-related lung cancer spreads cancerous cells inside your lungs, mesothelioma cells form a shield around the affected organ.
Mesothelioma is always terminal. One reason for this is the symptoms of mesothelioma are the same as the symptoms for many other conditions, some of which are not considered serious. Visit this website to learn more about mesothelioma risk factors.
What to Do if You are Exposed to Asbestos
Asbestos in your home can make you sick, and in some cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the previous owner if you can demonstrate that they knew about the asbestos in the home but failed to disclose it. You must also show that they had a duty to disclose the presence of asbestos to you. In addition to this, you will have to rule-out any other possible sources of exposure.
The insurance company’s representatives will tell you they have your best interests in mind, but the truth is they are only interested in settling as quickly as possible so they can pay you less than you’ll need to cover the full amount of your damages.
If you are planning any kind of demolition in your home, call in the professionals and let them take care of it. At the very least, have a professional check your home for asbestos before you begin. If you have been exposed to asbestos, you should also call in the professionals. An attorney can make sure you get fair compensation.
Article Submitted By Community Writer