The chronic lung disease asbestosis can be caused by the presence of asbestos in the home, as well as various types of cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos isn’t something you want to discover in your home; in addition to the potential health issues, having to pay a professional for asbestos removal is also not desirable.
If you don’t like the idea of paying a company to check your home for asbestos, you can buy one of the several asbestos kits available, which cost a lot less and can give you the same results. A testing kit is a good first step to take if you suspect the presence of asbestos, although you may end up paying a professional removal company at some point anyway.
Where asbestos might be in your home
Various materials in your home look like asbestos but are perfectly harmless, such as recycled paper insulating tablets, and Zonolite, harmless loose fill insulation found in many older homes. The point is, it isn’t always easy to determine if your home has asbestos, as many things that look like asbestos are something else entirely and are quite harmless. However, if you have an older type of siding on your home known as asbestos-cement shingles, it is potentially harmful and should be handled with care.
If you are carrying out asbestos testing, it’s important to check your entire home thoroughly, from the attic to the basement. Although asbestos can be present just about anywhere, some of the most common locations include floor tiling, insulation in ceiling cavities, popcorn ceilings and sheet vinyl flooring. You should also pay close attention to any wallboard and wallboard compound, mastic, pipe cement, roof flashing and tiles, and cement tile siding on the outside of your home.
Using an asbestos testing kit
It is possible to spend a lot of money on a full-service laboratory testing of your home for asbestos, something that many homeowners are understandably reluctant to do. A Safety Coordination Services asbestos testing kit is easy to use and is a much cheaper way to check for any signs of the toxic material and to ensure the safety of your family.
Testing kits can be purchased online, and you can also find them at your local home improvement store. You should get a sample of material that you think is asbestos from somewhere in your home and then mail it back to a laboratory to be tested, following the instructions on the testing kit. Kits vary in what’s included as far as the cost; you may have to pay for the postage to mail the material to the lab for testing, and you may have to pay a laboratory testing fee. All of this is on top of the cost of the testing kit. It’s worth making sure you know what is included in the price and exactly what if anything extra you will need to pay to have your sample expertly examined. You’ll get the results of the test typically within a few days of mailing the sample off.
Collecting a suspected asbestos sample for a testing kit
Your safety and health are important when collecting a sample from your home to mail to be tested. Always wear a respirator that has a HEPA filter, as well as other safety clothing such as safety glasses, boot covers, gloves, and disposable coveralls when collecting any sample, whether solid or dust. You should thoroughly spray down the surrounding area to keep any asbestos fibers out of the air, by using a spray bottle containing a pint of water mixed with a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent.
To keep the costs down of do it yourself asbestos testing, mail material that is solid or crumbly, using the bag that came with the testing kit.
You should get the results of the test, whether positive or negative within a couple of weeks, although some kits give you the option of paying more for rush results.
It typically costs more if you collect and send a dust sample, as an electron microscope is used to test it and you’ll typically have to submit at least one teaspoon of dust. A damp tissue can gather up dust if you can’t get a teaspoon; mail it back in a Ziploc bag.