Until recently, I didn’t really realize that asbestos removal was serious business. Like everyone, I heard about the threats from asbestos when the World Trade Center was attacked, but I had figured that that was only because of the destruction of the building. It seemed likely that most people had already had asbestos removed or contained, and I didn’t realize that it was a real problem.
I was in for some surprising and unpleasant results when I started to renovate my home. To my surprise, there was asbestos all over the place! Some of it wasn’t really much of a problem. When I hired someone for asbestos siding removal, he gave me an extremely reasonable estimate. You see, asbestos removal is easier when the asbestos is well contained. It can be used in a wide variety of different applications, and in some of its forms it is relatively safe. In the case of asbestos siding, it can be removed in pieces without any of it getting into the air. This means that it is not very harmful to the home owners, and not very dangerous to the asbestos removers.
Still, the asbestos siding was definitely a wake-up call. After that, I wanted to sign up for some asbestos testing before I did any more home renovation. To my surprise, I needed more asbestos removal. You see, my attic had asbestos insulation. Unlike siding, the installation was not well contained. It was wrapped around pipes, stuffed into corners and crevices, and generally spread around. This type of asbestos removal was more important, but was also more difficult. You see, if you have asbestos hanging out in your attic, it is only a matter of time before it gets into your house. To this day, I don’t know how much I was exposed to. I hope it was very little, and so far my health is good, but who knows what the future holds.
The mistake that I made was assuming that, because I had never heard anything about asbestos being in my house, there was none there. In reality, the fact that I did not know meant that I was at risk. If you have a house built more than a couple decades ago, you should have it tested for asbestos, lead paint, and various other toxins that used to be used in home construction. After all, if you have a toxic home, it is best to know before it is too late.