7 Warnings Signs Your Home Needs Asbestos Testing

asbestos testing

If you have an older home, asbestos testing is well worth the investment. Asbestos has been used in building materials in the U.S. for decades. While it’s commonly found in a lot of products and construction materials, exposure to large amounts can be dangerous.

If you suspect your home has asbestos, a professional can perform tests and removal procedures to keep you and your family safe. Long-term exposure to asbestos can cause respiratory problems, chest pain, and even cancer.

Luckily, this round-up has everything you need to know about asbestos. From the type of materials used in your home to its age, we’ll go over the six most common asbestos signs to watch for. Here’s how you can tell if you may have asbestos in your home.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos consists of six natural minerals. These minerals make soft, flexible, heat resistant fiber. In the early 1970s, the U.S. consumption of asbestos products peaked. Asbestos products were affordable, easy to manufacture, and cost-effective to build with.

Exposure to asbestos over several years can cause serious health and respiratory problems. Thankfully, by the late 1970s, people began to better understand the dangerous effects of too much asbestos exposure. Labor unions began to require safer work environments and asbestos-free conditions.

Asbestos is still used in a number of consumer goods and construction materials. Products made with less than 1% of asbestos are still allowed in the United States, today.

1. You Have an Older Home

If you have an older home, it’s likely your home may contain asbestos. If your home was built prior to 1980, chances are asbestos materials were used. Asbestos is in walls, floor tiles, roofs, and ceilings in almost all homes built before the 1980s.

If you’re purchasing an older home, you can ask if an asbestos test was ever done. If it hasn’t, you may be able to order one prior to closing. If you’re planning on doing significant renovations, you’ll want to assume there was asbestos used so you’re prepared for the removal costs when you get started.

2. Your Home has Vinyl Tiles

Asbestos is most commonly found in vinyl tiles versus other types of flooring. Before you buy a home with vinyl flooring, know that it is highly probable you have asbestos under your floor.

Vinyl tile flooring was especially popular in the 1980s. Many products were made before asbestos restrictions were put in place. If you’re ripping up old vinyl tile floors, you’ll want to hire an asbestos professional to test and remove the asbestos before you continue with construction.

3. Insulation on Your Pipes

If you have an older home, your pipes were likely insulated with asbestos because it is fireproof. If you see gray or white insulation around your pipes that were installed before the 1980s – these will likely contain asbestos. Pipes may contain a large amount of asbestos so it’s important to have them professionally tested.

4. You Have Old Ceiling Tiles

If your ceiling tiles are older, there could be asbestos inside. Before you start tearing a celling apart, make sure you have a professional come to inspect them. When asbestos is disturbed, the particles can become dangerous to breathe.

Have a professional come in to remove any asbestos particles before you start remodeling your ceiling or adding an addition. Breathing in too much asbestos can be dangerous to your respiratory system when inhaled.

5. Your Home Has Roofing Sheets

Most of the corrugated, flat, sheets of roofing have some asbestos in them. White asbestos is the most durable for roofing projects due to its fireproofing. There can be dangerous levels of asbestos in these products, however so it’s best to call a professional if you suspect you have asbestos on your roof.

If you’re purchasing a new home, your home inspector may be able to tell you about any suspected asbestos they find. A roofer may also find this during an inspection or any maintenance work.

6. Health Problems: Do I Have Asbestos Poisoning?

If you’ve lived in an older home for a long period of time, you may have been exposed to asbestos. Small amounts of asbestos exposure aren’t likely to cause damage, but over enough time you could feel serious side effects.

Symptoms of asbestos poisoning include shortness of breath, a dry cough that won’t go away, weight loss, loss of appetite, chest pain or finger and toe clubbing. Clubbing is when your toes and fingers look rounder and wider than they normally do. Asbestos poisoning can also lead to cancer in some cases.

If you feel any signs of asbestos poisoning, talk to your doctor right away. If you suspect asbestos in your home, call a professional to inspect it and remove it before symptoms worsen.

When Your Home Needs Asbestos Testing

If your house is older, there’s a good chance you may have asbestos in some part of your home. There are several different types of materials used in home construction containing asbestos.

If your home has asbestos it could be causing you or your family health problems. Long-term exposure to asbestos can cause severe respiratory problems and even cancer if left untreated. Professional asbestos testing is the only way to tell if it’s present in your home.

If you suspect asbestos, fill out the form here to get in touch with a professional who can come and inspect it.

Sewer Back Up? How to Fix and Prevent Sewer Line Damage

sewer line

What do you do when your main sewer line backs up? How do you identify the warning signs? How do you make sure it never happens again?

You’ve got the questions, and we have all the answers.

This guide will cover the basics of identifying, repairing, and avoiding sewer damage to a home or business.

Common Warning Signs You May Have Sewer Line Damage

Sewer problems often show signs that trouble is brewing. Sewer backup or foul odors are clear signs there is a problem, but sometimes other symptoms can be more discreet or mistaken for common household problems.

What are some of the common warning signs that sewer problems are on the horizon?

Foul Smelling Sewage Odors

Sewage has a very distinct scent that compares to rotten eggs. If you smell foul odors, it’s a sure sign something is not quite right.

Sewers are designed to be airtight, so that smells and other things are trapped inside. Damage such as cracks, holes, and leaks allow sewage to escape and thus leave you with an awful smell.

Sewage Backup and Blockages

There is a good chance there’s a problem with your sewer line if flushing the toilet in one bathroom causes water to back up in another room in your home. Blockages and clogs can be diverting water and forcing an alternate route due to a clog.

Sewer backup is a definite red flag you have a clogged sewer line. A sewer repair contractor can use a sewer camera to diagnose the problem.

Slow Draining

Does your sink or shower drain slowly? Does your toilet keep getting backed up? Your sewer line may have a blockage forming. If the blockage is left untreated, it can lead to cracks and other major sewer problems.

If you tried to DIY the problem with a sewer snake or drain unblocker without success, get in touch with a professional.

Trying to fix the problems on your own by using products that often include harsh chemicals can lead to further damage to your pipes and make sewage problems even worse if you have older hardware.

Mold

Damage in your sewer line, such as cracks, can leak water into your walls. This excess moisture can cause mold growth. Because of their increased humidity, bathrooms are especially vulnerable to mold.

If you notice mold growing on your walls or ceilings, the source could be from your sewage pipe. Even if you see no mold growth but can smell it, it could be a sign of sewer line damage.

To prevent further damage to your walls or ceilings, call a professional to find out if you need to have your sewer line repaired.

Cracks in Your Home’s Foundation

This is a severe sign of possible sewer line damage that needs attention ASAP. Cracks in your home’s foundation could mean leaking water from a sewage or water line.

If you see an excessive amount of water around the foundation of your home, contact a professional before you end up with major (and more costly) problems with your foundation.

Lush Patches of Grass or Pools of Water in Your Yard

If you see lush patches of grass in your yard, specifically grass growth that is unusually thicker or greener, it could be a sign of a problem. Sewage acts as a natural fertilizer and will create lush patches of grass in your yard.

Another sign to look out for is soggy areas or pools of water in your yard. This could be a warning sign of a much more significant problem like a collapsed sewer line.

Pests

Just the sight of that word can instill fear into any homeowner. Rodents and pests live in sewers, and openings in your sewer line create entry points for inviting them into your home.

Keep in mind that nothing will prevent pests from coming in if they find an easily accessible way into your home.

Call in the Professionals

Before you look up “how to clear a main sewer line clog” and attempt to fix it yourself, think again. Plumbing problems are best left to a professional.

One of the benefits of hiring a professional is that most plumbing companies often have video inspection available. Video inspection uses a sewer camera to review the state and condition of pipes as well as identifying other problem areas.

A sewer camera can pinpoint the exact location of a damaged or clogged sewage pipe. Once the problem is identified, they can be solved through either traditional sewer repair or trenchless sewer repair.

Preventing Sewer Line Damage

Routine preventative maintenance can save you more money in the long run.

1. Professional sewer cleaning is a great way to keep your sewer line in tip-top shape and avoid costly sewer line replacement. If you want to avoid having to deal with sewer backup or sewer line repair, make sure you are availing of this maintenance task.

2. Only put toilet paper or human waste down the toilet. Anything else will lead to a clogged sewer line.

3. Do not throw grease down the drain and throw all excess food dishes into the trashcan before washing them. Grease from oil or fatty foods lead to clogs and will cost you a professional sewer cleanout.

4. Stay away from sewer lines when planting trees. Tree root invasion is the leading cause of sewer problems.

5. Take a preventive approach. Tackling problems right away can save you from further damage, and having to spend an even greater amount of money — an ounce of prevention over a pound of cure. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Fixing and Preventing Sewer Line Damage

What do you do when your main sewer line backs up? How do you identify the warning signs? How do you make sure it never happens again?

You’ve got the questions, and we have all the answers.

We hope this guide gave you more insight into identifying, repairing, and avoiding sewer damage. If you found this article helpful, check out more from our blog!

How to Identify Asbestos: A Full Guide

identify asbestos

Asbestos-related diseases kill over 12,000 Americans every year. Despite this staggering total, many homes still harbor this toxic material.

Knowing how to identify asbestos is the first step towards quick removal. The faster you remove this harmful material from your home, the better.

In this guide, we’ll go over what asbestos is and how to figure out if your home has it.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos refers to 6 different types of silicate minerals that insulated homes up until the late 20th century. These fibrous materials include Chrysotile, Tremolite, Crocidolite, Amosite, and Anthophyllite. Over 95% of asbestos contains Chrysotile.

The construction industry viewed asbestos as a versatile material before labeled as dangerous, as it’s a cheap way to fireproof, caulk, and insulate.

In the 1970s, scientists deemed asbestos a health hazard. The material is a cancer-causing agent and studies proved that exposure leads to deadly diseases such as lung cancer.

Currently, an asbestos ban in 55 countries is in effect. Despite its ban, asbestos is everywhere.

To this day, many buildings still have asbestos lurking in the walls. If you currently live in a home built before asbestos regulations had taken effect, it’s vital to check for signs of asbestos.

Where Does Asbestos Usually Hide?

There are a few areas in your home that are more likely to hold asbestos than others. For example, Bathrooms and kitchens were often built with asbestos in the floors because they’re water-resistant and helped prevent water damage from floods.

Asbestos may hide in your home’s exterior, too. Shingles for both roofs and siding were often installed with asbestos to help with insulation.

Pipes tend to hold asbestos because the material was once thought to prevent pipe corrosion and increase friction resistance. This is particularly dangerous because the asbestos can infiltrate drinking water.

Attics are another type of area where you’re likely to locate asbestos. This material was widely used to insulate attics and keep them fire-resistant. The type of asbestos used in attics has a pebble-like consistency, which is easy to spot.

An unexpected place where you may find asbestos is in HVAC ducts. Heating ducts installed before the phase-out may have asbestos insulation fibers. Asbestos fibers were an inexpensive way to fix and insulate pipes before deemed dangerous.

Asbestos-Related Diseases

Unfortunately, asbestos causes many dangerous lung conditions. Health conditions caused by asbestos are mostly seen in workers who constructed homes before the material was banned entirely.

Mesothelioma is commonly caused by asbestos. Other lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are commonly caused by asbestos exposure.

Asbestos exposure doesn’t typically cause health issues immediately. It takes anywhere between 10 and 40 years to see the negative impacts of exposure. However, there are a few key symptoms to keep an eye out for.

A chronic dry cough is an indication that you’re regularly exposed to asbestos. In addition to constant coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness all point to asbestos exposure.

If you have any of these symptoms and you live in an older home, it’s best to start thinking of inspecting your home for asbestos exposure.

How to Identify Asbestos

Asbestos is made of microscopic fibers. Identifying it relies on more investigative work than looking at it. While you need professional help for proper confirmation and removal, there are several clues you can search for that help prove you have an asbestos problem.

If you spot any of these indicators, call a professional to help you take the next step towards identification.

Consider Your Home’s Age

The easiest way to rule out if you have asbestos in your home is to figure out when your home was built. If it was built before 1995, which was the last year before it was completely phased out, you need to take action.

Identify Your Home’s Insulation Material

If you have access to your home building certificate, take a look at the insulation material or codes cited on the record. If you’re unfamiliar with the types of insulation materials and codes, do a quick Google search to identify whether the material is made of asbestos.

Look for Clues

If you spot aluminum runners outside your home, that may indicate asbestos was used. These runners were used to implement asbestos materials and may occur along the sides of residential or commercial buildings.

On the interior of your home, look for “popcorn” walls and ceilings. This refers to walls and ceilings that have a bumpy texture.

Vinyl or linoleum tiles are other clues that point towards asbestos. Asbestos was often used as a bottom layer in vinyl tile construction as cheap insulation.

What to Do When You Identify Asbestos in Your Home

First and foremost, don’t interact with the asbestos you’ve spotted. Don’t renovate your home while asbestos is still in it. If you know you have asbestos, and it’s well-contained, it doesn’t pose an immediate threat.

Knocking down walls, drilling, or any other renovation work will cause asbestos exposure. Disturbing this mineral will spread its fibers in the air, leading to illness.

Visual confirmation is a good first step. But to confirm you have asbestos, you can’t rely on visual identification. You’ll need to send samples to a lab to verify whether or not the material you found in your home is asbestos.

To begin proper identification and removal, you need to request a professional asbestos removal service. Trained professionals quickly resolve your asbestos issue by safely sampling, removing, and disposing of the material.

The Next Steps

While there are several ways to identify asbestos on your own, getting rid of asbestos requires trained professionals. Don’t hesitate to take the next steps toward asbestos removal. Your health is counting on it!

Do you need help removing the asbestos in your home? Contact us and we’ll provide fast and reliable asbestos removal from your property.