How to Test for Asbestos

asbestos roof slide

If you own an older building, you may be curious as to how to test for asbestos. This harmful substance was a common building material for decades, but now needs to be removed from homes and commercial buildings alike. Learn how to identify asbestos with this guide, as well as how to remove asbestos and more.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with extremely harmful side effects. Its strength and versatility made it a mainstay in construction for years, but studies revealed its chemical makeup is actually toxic and can lead to a variety of severe health problems such as mesothelioma or lung cancer. After this discovery, new building codes were put into place to stop its widespread use and remove it when found in older construction.

Asbestos was formerly used in components throughout the entire home, including:

  • Vinyl tiles and flooring
  • Insulation
  • Ductwork
  • Concrete
  • Roof shingles
  • Wallboard
  • Piping
  • Siding
  • Asphalt
  • And more

Do popcorn ceilings have asbestos? Yes, it’s more than likely that if you have a popcorn ceiling, there is asbestos present.

How to Identify Asbestos

Unfortunately, asbestos is not identifiable to the naked eye, and needs thorough inspection and testing to uncover its presence. Asbestos is only dangerous once it’s been disturbed: breaking it releases toxic dust that can settle in the lungs and lead to cancer. Because of this, most states do not allow for property owners to test for asbestos, as the process is too sensitive for inexperienced individuals.

How do professionals test for asbestos? Once a sample has been collected, it is transported to an EPA-approved facility and examined under a microscope. If asbestos is detected, it will need to be removed by EPA-certified contractors.

How to Remove Asbestos

Removing asbestos is a hazardous task and should only be performed be licenced professionals. Contractors wear full-body protective clothing and respirators while removing the asbestos-laden materials from the building, sealing all the components in air-tight containers to haul it away. Because of this labor-intensive process, homeowners will need to vacate their homes, and property owners will have to ask tenants to temporarily halt business operations until the building is safe.

Hire The BrickKicker to Test for Asbestos

The BrickKicker offers professional asbestos testing for your home or commercial property. Our experts are specifically trained how to stay safe while testing for this toxic substance, and we can guide you on next steps. It’s not worth the risk to test for asbestos on your own, so schedule an appointment with our team today.