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What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like in Attics?

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Over the years, humanity has made use of several different materials for varying reasons. But there are a small percentage of them which, as time goes on, have proven to be a mistake. The reason is that as our science improves, we are able to assess materials better and understand the health implications of it.

Asbestos is one such insulator that has since been done away with. It was used for centuries as a fire-resistant insulating material and is not affected by corrosive chemicals either. Let’s understand a bit about asbestos as an insulator and why it shouldn’t be used.

Understanding Asbestos Insulation

If you have a home that was built in the early 80s, there is a chance that it might use asbestos insulation. Back when we were unaware of its issues, asbestos seemed almost like magic. It couldn’t catch fire, it was inert with most chemicals, and it was a great insulator. All of these were perfect attributes for use as a home insulation material for attics.

But, fast forward to the 20th century, asbestos was recognized worldwide as a health hazard. It has been banned for use since then, which has us moving to safer and alternative materials for use as insulators.

Identifying Asbestos Insulation

The key to identifying asbestos insulation is to know what you should be looking for. Asbestos insulation comes in a variety of forms, which you should know before tackling how to remove it. Here are the different types of asbestos insulation –

  • Spray on insulation
  • Loose-fill insulation
  • Block insulation
  • Blanket insulation
  • Vermiculite insulation

Spray-on insulation was the most common type of attic insulation back in the 80s and also the most dangerous. It looks like a thick gray material on the ceiling. It can release dangerous asbestos particles even if you bump it slightly.

Loose-fill looks like a clump of gray fibers and is as dangerous as spray-on asbestos insulation. Blanket or wrapping asbestos looks like corrugated cardboard, along with fiberglass layers sticking out. Vermiculite asbestos insulation has a pebble-like appearance and is grayish-brown in color. It isn’t as dangerous as the other types but still needs to be handled with care.

Risks of Using Asbestos in the Attic

With the advent of better technologies, we have been able to ascertain the effects of asbestos in the long term, and it isn’t good news. The first and most obvious problem asbestos has on you is asbestosis. Asbestosis is scarring of your lungs when you inhale asbestos particles over time. It can reduce the efficiency of your lungs and, in the long term, can even be fatal.

Exposure to asbestos can also cause different types of cancers, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Taking all these factors into consideration, you should check your insulation material and replace it if there are any asbestos traces.

What to Do if You Find Asbestos

Now that you know how you can identify asbestos with accuracy, you need to know what you should do if you find asbestos.

Regardless of the type of asbestos material, it is recommended not to remove them yourself unless you’re dealing with small amounts.

If you insist on getting rid of the asbestos material yourself, these are some tips you can follow –

  • Follow strict protocols and use personal protective equipment (PPE), including a respirator and safety goggles, which are rated for asbestos exposure.
  • When removing asbestos, take care to keep breakages and force to a minimum to prevent the release of asbestos particles.
    Wetting the asbestos insulation can reduce the number of particles being released into the air.
  • When putting asbestos insulation away, ensure that you double-bag it to improve protection against

Why Choose a Professional Agency for Asbestos Removal

Getting rid of asbestos from your home is an important step to take. As we have discussed, it can cause untold harm and irreversible health issues to your loved ones. Opting for professional services offers several benefits compared to doing it yourself.

For starters, we can identify exactly where asbestos is present in your insulation. It is safer, and we can get all the asbestos out of your house. We have the training and the expertise required to evacuate and dispose of asbestos material. And in the long term, professional help and maintenance can be a lot cheaper than paying expensive medical bills.

Being a company that always puts people ahead, Insulation First always recommends professional services when it comes to asbestos identification removal. If you’re in the Dallas, TX, area, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can get rid of all the asbestos and ensure that you live safely without any health hazards in your home!

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