Widely used from the 1940s until the 1970s in the construction industry, asbestos is an inexpensive and highly-effective material that is known for its strong, non-combustible fibres. Today, those fibres have earned asbestos the nickname of “silent killer”. Though they are not dangerous when tightly enclosed, they have been known to cause lung cancers on numerous occasions when they are present in the air that people breathe. Keep in mind, however, that for that to happen a person needs to be exposed to asbestos on a regular basis.
If your house was built during the 1970s or before, then it is quite likely that the presence of asbestos can be found within its construction materials. According to the Government of Canada, asbestos fibres become toxic when the materials that enclose them (think insulation boards and ceiling tiles) become disturbed or damaged. This causes fibres to be released into the air to later be inhaled by people.
If you are thinking of remodelling your basement, it would be a wise idea to first test your home for asbestos before calling on the help of a professional asbestos abatement company. We don’t recommend doing any type of renovation that could lead to asbestos fibres being released into the air before first consulting professionals. Remember that the quicker you deal with asbestos, the safer you and your family will be… and the sooner you will enjoy your newly remodelled basement.
For more information, we encourage you to visit the Government of Canada’s website.