As a homeowner, you may be getting ready to start your spring cleaning for the year. This may include general home maintenance, like washing windows, cleaning out your garage, or getting your carpets professionally cleaned. For some people, however, spring cleaning may include more thorough projects like home renovations or repairs.

asbestos exposureIf your home was built prior to the 1990s, it’s important to know where you might come into contact with asbestos as you spring clean. Here are a couple of examples to keep in mind:

  • Cleaning out the attic
    Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation, and that insulation can often be found in attics. Asbestos insulation was often used in attic floors and walls and was usually sold under the brand name Zonolite. In older attics today, you may still come across asbestos insulation, and disturbing it by shifting boxes or attempting to remove it yourself can put you at risk for mesothelioma.
  • Outdoor home renovations
    Asbestos siding was once very popular because of its fire-resistant capability. If your home has older siding and you’re going to be tearing it down this spring, be aware that it might contain asbestos and therefore require removal from a certified asbestos professional. Even if you’re not positive whether the siding contains asbestos, do not take it down on your own.
  • Indoor cosmetic changes
    Spring is the perfect time of year to freshen up the inside of your home, as well. For older homes, interior renovations could result in toxic exposures. For example, many older homes may contain textured ceilings (also known as popcorn or cottage cheese ceilings) that have asbestos. Asbestos may be present in textured paint and patching compounds used on walls and ceilings. Its use in these products was banned in 1977, but it may still exist in homes built prior to this date.
  • Home maintenance
    You may be needing to replace some of the bigger necessities in your home, like water heaters or the furnace. Remember that hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material. Additionally, oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

As you spring clean your home, take into consideration the age of your home and the different areas you are cleaning, renovating or maintaining. Could it contain asbestos? If the answer is yes or maybe, do not hesitate to seek help from an experienced asbestos removal professional. All asbestos products need to be properly disposed of to prevent exposure and the distribution of fibers throughout other areas of your home.

For more information, visit the asbestos exposure section of our website.