A ceiling covered in ventilated white ceiling tiles is missing several tiles which are being tested for asbestos.

Perhaps you’ve wondered why asbestos testing matters. You might have had a home inspector suggest it, and you weren’t really sure if it was worth the time and expense. We’re here to tell you it is and go over a few reasons why.

Today’s homeowners and buyers are interested in numerous details about a home, and the quality of the air is one of the most important. It’s not surprising, considering we spend around a third of our lives inside our homes. Plus, with allergy and asthma cases climbing for adults and children, it’s important to live in a place with healthy air. But asbestos can, potentially, deteriorate air quality in a big way.

What is Asbestos, Anyway?

Simply put, asbestos is a mineral that has been mined and used to manufacture several kinds of building materials. A few of them are:

  • Popcorn ceiling texture
  • Insulation for boilers and boiler pipes
  • Acoustic tiles for ceilings
  • Cement siding
  • Tape for heating ducts
  • Vermiculite insulation

It was discovered that, decades ago, asbestos has a handy property. It turns out that it’s a highly effective natural fire retardant. As a result, from the 1940’s to the 1970’s, asbestos was used on a regular basis within numerous building materials. If you live in a home built during this time, the odds are excellent that asbestos is inside somewhere.

Why is Asbestos a Problem?

It was discovered that, when microscopic fibers from the asbestos flake off and are inhaled, it can create serious health problems, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Making matters worse, if the person in the building is inhaling asbestos particles and smokes, their health issues can get much worse.

An important detail to remember is that, if you simply move into an old house and live there, you likely will be fine. That’s because, as long as the asbestos particulate stays within the building materials, you’ll be okay. But if materials become damaged, particles can escape, become airborne, and potentially get into lungs.

The most common time for asbestos to become a health issue is when homeowners are having remodeling or renovations done. Building materials get torn out or otherwise sustain damage, and those who live in the house or are working there are at risk.

How Can I Solve The Problem?

First of all, the wise thing to do is to hire a reputable company to perform an analysis. You might be wondering why your home inspector didn’t handle this when you bought the place. But the fact is, most home inspectors aren’t certified as asbestos inspectors. They might mention seeing certain building materials that likely contain some degree of asbestos, but that’s about it.

A certified asbestos inspector can provide you with a far more detailed analysis of if the presence of asbestos is in your home and, if so, how much you have. It’s a smart move to budget for asbestos analysis if you’re going to have work done on your home. If not, an inspection can help by identifying and materials that have been damaged throughout the years.