Asbestos, a name given to a collection of six sillicate minerals, was a darling of the building industry beginning as far back as 4,000 years ago. During the industrial age until fairly recently, asbestos was used in a myriad of building materials, everything from dry wall and plaster to ceiling tile to flooring. It’s not an exaggeration to say that if your home was built prior to 1970, you likely have one or more building material in your home that was made using asbestos.

Asbestos was lauded for decades because of its fire-resistant properties, but the material was found to be a major contributor to a variety of respiratory diseases, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. For that reason, asbestos mining and use of asbestos building materials was banned in the United States in the early 1970s.

The good news is that asbestos materials only pose a health threat to those who live in older homes if the asbestos fibers are disturbed and released into the air flow, such as happens during a remodeling or demolition project. Because of the potential for severe health problems as a result of asbestos exposure, it’s essential that you have your home tested for asbestos before you begin any such project. It’s also recommended that you have your home tested after any structural damage as can happen from a hurricane or a severe thunderstorm.

What is asbestos testing?

To determine whether asbestos building materials are present in a home or other structure, the asbestos testing team will don hazardous materials suits and take samples of suspect materials, using an adhesive that attracts the asbestos fibers. It takes a laboratory analysis to ascertain whether asbestos fibers are present. Since many harmless materials resemble those made using asbestos, it is all but impossible to tell if asbestos is present simply by looking at the site. A good testing team has the equipment and experience to accurately gauge your asbestos risk while keeping your household members safe.

Steps in asbestos testing

Asbestos testing takes around two weeks for results, although testing can usually be rushed for an additional fee. Although you will see home-testing kits for asbestos, the success of such tests relies on the homeowner knowing the right material to send into the lab for testing and properly and safely harvesting these samples.

Columbia Maryland asbestos testing

As tempting as it may sound, it makes no sense to try to test for asbestos yourself. Not only do many building materials look alike to the naked eye, but disturbing asbestos without the proper safety equipment can pose a major health risk to both you and the rest of your household. Hiring a professional asbestos testing team will help you be sure that your project is being handled safely and professionally. To learn more about our Columbia, Maryland asbestos testing services, contact Asbestos Removal Now