Asbestos siding in Warrenton, VA, is common on older homes. It was considered an effective, safe construction material from the 1920s through the 1980s.
In 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of asbestos. Research linked it to cancers, respiratory problems and a range of chronic, life-threatening diseases.
So what should you do if you buy a home with asbestos siding in Warrenton, VA? Is it safe to just leave it? Can you remove it yourself?
Here is an overview of what experts say is the best way to handle asbestos siding.
Envirotex is a licensed, asbestos inspection and abatement contractor. We offer:
Asbestos is a mineral that’s been in use over 4000 years. Beginning in the 1800s, it was used for a variety of construction projects because it offered so many advantages.
Asbestos is a fire retardant, which made it a logical component in the building of homes, schools, factories, just about any type of structure. To make it even better, the material was inexpensive. Asbestos also had good insulating properties.
Asbestos was an important material for the industrial age. It was used in steam locomotives, in boilers, fireboxes, and pipes. It ended up in a wide variety of products, like ductwork, adhesives, roofing, cement, flooring, insulation, and siding. It was used in automotive parts like brake pads and gaskets, and in tiles. It was even in textiles like clothes that needed to be heat and corrosion resistant.
Asbestos gave other materials greater strength and durability. In fact, asbestos siding in Warrenton, VA, was so popular because of the greater strength it gave the siding, as well as its insulating properties.
Asbestos siding was used for a reason in home building. It is strong and durable, won’t rot or decompose. Termites and other insects can’t harm it. Homes can have asbestos siding in Warrenton, VA, that is five decades old, or even older, and still in perfect shape.
The siding came in a wide range of shapes and styles, making it an attractive addition for homes. The siding often had ridges, scalloped edges, and grooves. These different textures and looks gave the siding visual appeal.
Does the siding on your older home definitely contain asbestos? Not necessarily. It was hugely popular, but not every builder used it. The only way you can determine if it has asbestos is through testing at an approved lab.
The EPA banned asbestos in 1989, but researchers started worrying about its safety years before that. Decades prior, doctors began to notice that shipbuilders often developed cancer and long-term breathing problems. Asbestos was a key ingredient in ships.
In World War II, asbestos was used extensively in ships, exposing longshoremen, insulators, and pipefitters to its dangers. There were over 4 million U.S. workers employed in shipyards during the war. Out of every 1000, 14 died of cancer and asbestosis.
Scientists discovered that asbestos dust and fiber was easy to inhale. It would settle in a person’s lungs, staying dormant for years. But eventually, it would cause health problems for these people.
The fibers cause mesothelioma, a variety of other cancers, asbestosis and an assortment of other lung problems. All of these are potentially fatal, and at best lead to chronic problems that limit the sufferer’s quality of life.
Prior to 1989, millions of homes in the U.S. were built with products that used asbestos. The reason more people are not suffering from asbestos-related illness is because most of this asbestos is safely contained.
When it is intact, it stays inert. In most asbestos siding in Warrenton, VA, like cement siding, it poses no health risk for the people living in the house.
When you need to start worrying is when the asbestos fibers become airborne, where they can be inhaled. That means you need to worry if your asbestos siding is cracked, broken into a number of small chunks, or is sawed. That’s what releases the fibers into the environment.
If you don’t disturb the asbestos siding on your home in Warrenton, VA, you are safe. If weather conditions don’t crack or break it, you aren’t at risk.
Due to the many well-publicized lawsuits and class action suits in the last two decades, many people assume that even being in the vicinity of asbestos is dangerous. This isn’t true. What makes it dangerous is ongoing exposure to the fibers in the air, where they can be inhaled.
That situation doesn’t happen regularly with asbestos siding in Warrenton, VA. It is very strong. You are in danger only when someone, or weather extremes in some cases, saws it, cracks it or breaks it into numerous pieces.
If your asbestos siding is intact, you don’t need to remove it. Experts do have suggestions if you’re still worried and want to add an extra level of safety.
One common choice is to encapsulate it. An effective way to do this is by covering it with vinyl siding. This might sound like ignoring trouble by just covering up the problem and forgetting it. But the method of encapsulation is considered a safe, long-term and practical method, suggested and used by licensed contractors and remediation specialists.
If you choose to remove the asbestos siding in Warrenton, VA, don’t consider it a do-it-yourself project. Experts recommend that you hire an authorized contractor, one certified in asbestos remediation and abatement.
Isn’t that expensive? It’s actually an investment in your health and the safety of everyone who lives in your home. To do the job thoroughly and properly, workers need to wear special protection, like masks and respirators.
During the work, they need to monitor the air for signs of asbestos fibers. After all, the goal is to remove the asbestos, not add more fibers into the atmosphere where you can breathe it in.
Professionals have specialized training and tools to do the job safely. In order to become an authorized contractor, they need to go through training and certification. They learn a systematic approach to asbestos removal, causing as little disturbance as possible. They know how and where to dispose of the old asbestos materials. Only a few hazardous wastes sites are available for legal asbestos disposal.
A do-it-yourselfer is more likely to make the problem worse, or create a problem where none existed before he started his project. According to home improvement expert Bob Vila, the job is just too risky. The danger is high that someone trying to save money by doing the work himself will cause harm to people in the area and to the environment.
Handling asbestos safely, at the time the work is done and in a way that keeps the house and property safe in the future, requires experience and training. It is no one’s idea of a weekend project.
Envirotex can safely remove asbestos siding in Warrenton, VA. The company is a leader in asbestos testing and remediation. Since 2000, Envirotex has been helping homeowners deal with asbestos concerns.
The team at Envirotex is happy to answer your questions about asbestos siding and other products in your home. The company has earned a reputation for really listening to each client. If you’re not sure your siding has asbestos, they can arrange testing at a certified lab.
When it comes to asbestos, Envirotex handles all aspects of testing, removal, and disposal, wherever it is located. For example, they can deal with:
As a licensed asbestos abatement contractor, Envirotex contains the problem, removes it, thoroughly decontaminates the site, disposes of the materials legally and safely, and uses a certified lab for all testing.
Wondering about asbestos siding in your Warrenton, VA, home? Call Envirotex today for a free, no-obligation estimate for testing and remediation.
About Envriotex Environmental Services
Established in Northern Virginia in 2000, Envirotex Environmental Services was founded on military service. While serving his country, the company's owner Mr. Freeman gained vast knowledge and experience in the environmental services field. His expertise in air monitoring and hazardous materials testing prepared him for his post-military career.
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Great customer service. Reviewed quite a few and found Daniel Freeman, Pres/CEO of Envirotex to be the most knowledgeable and professional of all. Also the most experienced! We would highly recommend this company. (He was very tolerant of all my questions about the inspection and how the treatment would be handled!)
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