A block wall containing old asbestos blocks

What is Asbestos Testing?

Asbestos testing will either deny or identify the existence of asbestos in the areas sampled. Healthy Home inspectors are trained and accredited by the EPA to safely test your home for asbestos. Asbestos is an extremely dangerous material that should not be exposed to the air people breath. Our highly trained professionals ensure your family’s safety every step of the testing process.

Asbestos requires special handling. If asbestos-containing material is exposed or broken apart, fibers are easily released into the air. Don’t disturb any area of your home if you suspect it contains asbestos.  If you are planning to remodel or demolish a home, you should have the home tested for asbestos before you begin.

Asbestos testing is a process that must be conducted by professionals trained in the proper techniques with regard to the abatement of asbestos. We use a checklist to ensure accuracy and thoroughness in testing all areas, not just the ones that are suspect. Our professional technicians use equipment and established procedures to ensure a safe and rigorous process of asbestos testing.

Asbestos Dangers

Asbestos can be found in older homes’ materials such as flooring, ceiling tiles, insulation, roofing and electrical receptacles. Some newer homes may also contain asbestos. Asbestos is not a problem if it is not exposed.

Because asbestos use was so prevalent decades ago, you are likely to come across asbestos when you remodel or demolish an older home. And as the years go by, asbestos-containing materials in older homes fall apart, crumble and deteriorate. As they do, asbestos fibers are released into the air and inhaled by people inside the home.

Asbestos fibers are so hard to destroy that your body cannot break them down once they are in your lungs.  Instead, asbestos fibers remain inside lung tissue and cause disabling and fatal diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Asbestos in Drinking Water

People are concerned that asbestos has found its way into drinking water. Asbestos is a natural mineral in the earth and was used in the cement pipes that distribute drinking water to American communities. As these pipes decay, asbestos fibers are released into drinking water.

You can be exposed to asbestos by drinking water that contains asbestos fibers, according to The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Fibers enter water sources through the erosion of natural deposits or piles of asbestos waste, from asbestos-containing cement pipes used to carry drinking water, or from filtering through asbestos-containing filters.

Most drinking water supplies in the U.S. have concentrations of less than 1 million asbestos fibers per liter, even in areas with asbestos deposits and asbestos-cement water supply pipes. Certain locations, however, report up to 10-300 million fibers per liter or higher of drinking water. Nearly all swallowed asbestos fibers pass through your intestinal system and are removed from the body within a few days.

What Can a Homeowner Who Suspects Asbestos Do?

There are some things that a homeowner or landlord can do prior to making the decision to seek professional asbestos testing.

  • The first thing you can do is conduct a survey of your home. Ask your neighbors if they have had asbestos issues in their homes. Because asbestos use was prevalent for so many years, older homes built with asbestos-laden materials need more immediate testing.
  • The second step you should take in asbestos testing is to look for damaged or disturbed building materials. Asbestos is not an issue when the material is in good condition. The adverse issues occur when the material is worn out, deteriorating or damaged. A triage of sorts must take place for the sake of your health and safety, and it is best to test disturbed asbestos immediately. Common materials that contain asbestos are pipes, insulation, wall and ceiling tiles, vinyl flooring, stovetop pads and various other building materials.
  • Finally, you should decide what and where you want to test for asbestos. If materials are not degrading or damaged, the area may not need to be tested. However, if there are disturbances and you are concerned that asbestos could be airborne in your home, immediate testing is needed. We do not recommend that you test asbestos on your own. Rather, hire our professionals to test for you.

Asbestos Training and Accreditation

All asbestos testing companies must use EPA-approved contractors and accredited asbestos inspectors. Healthy Home is owned and operated by highly trained individuals accredited by the EPA in asbestos testing. We are able to handle and analyze suspect materials as well as complete the necessary paperwork for the EPA. We know how to work safely with asbestos while limiting potential exposure to you, your family or renters during the sampling process.

If you are concerned that asbestos could be a problem in your home or rental property, give Healthy Home a call or schedule an asbestos testing appointment.  Our highly trained EPA-accredited technicians know where to look and what materials to test to give you peace of mind about your family’s health and safety.