Asbestos is a naturally found heat resistant fibrous silicate material that is used in fire resistant and insulating materials. It is composed of microscopic fibrils that can crumble and be released into the atmosphere by abrasion if unbound or deteriorated. If your home was built in the 1970s or earlier, it is likely to find asbestos insulation in your attic or asbestos ductwork. Now that asbestos is known for its dangers, it is no longer widely used, and homes are insulated with alternative materials. However, if your home does have asbestos, highly consider having it removed to protect your health and indoor air quality.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is usually white and made up of tiny fibers, each of which is so small it is basically invisible to the naked eye. It was widely used in construction in the past to insulate water pipes, air ducts, mastics, and in ceiling and floor tiles. It was widely used because it was inexpensive and had many desirable properties. It is durable, heat and fire resilient and has excellent soundproofing qualities. Furthermore, it is typical to find asbestos in homes that only have a heating system because it was greatly effective as a heat insulator. Asbestos dangers were not discovered until it was first used with air conditioning.
Health Dangers of Asbestos
Most of the time asbestos poses little risk to your health. The fibers only become a risk if they are released into the air and are inhaled. When air ducts covered with asbestos insulation was used with air conditioning the duct would have condensation. This led the asbestos material to become soaked with water, break apart, rust and corrode. Leading the fibers to freely enter the air supply and can be inhaled or ingested without the person knowing. These asbestos fibers are not only tiny but can splinter in many different directions and can embed into lung tissue. This can lead to scarring and inflammation. Regular or long periods of exposure can lead to high concentrations can harmful to your health. Asbestos exposure can lead to asbestosis (scarring of the lungs), lung cancer and is now known to cause a type of cancer called mesothelioma. Diseases caused as a result of asbestos exposure can take on average anywhere between 15to 30 years to develop.
The only alternative for asbestos is abatement. Having it removed avoids any potential dangers and health risks caused by asbestos entering your air supply. Though LA Construction, Heating and Air does not directly perform asbestos abatement, we do have a separate certified team that handles abatement. The registers and vents will be sealed to prevent contamination of the home. Ducts will be moistened before, during and after removal. Duct register boot will be stripped, wiped clean and treated with encapsulating paint. At the end all bags are transported to a licensed landfill. It is always best to be safe when starting any renovations or HVAC replacement and to seek the advice of a professional.
Most people will encounter asbestos at some point in time. It is important to seek professional advice any time you complete work through any repair or renovation process. Give LA Construction, Heating and Air a call today at 818-341-3406 or contact us online to schedule a free estimate for HVAC replacement or HVAC service we would be more than happy to assist you.
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