Asbestos Inspection

Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.

From studies of people who were exposed to asbestos in factories and shipyards, we know that breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of:

  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma - a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity
  • Asbestosis - a condition in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.
Most people exposed to small amounts of asbestos, as we all are in our daily lives, do not develop these health problems. However, if disturbed, asbestos material may release asbestos fibers, which can be inhaled into the lungs. The fibers can remain there for a long time, increasing the risk of disease. Asbestos material that would crumble easily if handled, or that has been sawed, scraped, or sanded into a powder, is more likely to create a health hazard.

Where Can Asbestos Be Found?

Where Can Asbestos Be Found?

Most products made today do not contain asbestos. Those few products made which still contain asbestos that could be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. However, until the 1970s, many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos. Common products that might have contained asbestos in the past, and conditions which may release fibers, include:

  • Steam pipes, boilers and furnace ducts insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape. These materials may release asbestos fibers if damaged, repaired, or removed improperly.
  • Resilient floor tiles (vinyl asbestos, asphalt, and rubber), the backing on vinyl sheet flooring, and adhesives used for installing floor tile. Sanding tiles can release fibers. So may scraping or sanding the backing of sheet flooring during removal.
  • Cement sheet, millboard, and paper used as insulation around furnaces and wood-burning stoves. Repairing or removing appliances may release asbestos fibers. So may cutting, tearing, sanding, drilling, or sawing insulation.
  • Patching and joint compounds for walls and ceilings, and textured paints. Sanding, scraping, or drilling these surfaces may release asbestos.
  • Asbestos cement roofing, shingles, and siding. These products are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, drilled, or cut.

Our Asbestos Inspection Services

Our New York home inspections professionals are trained in handling asbestos material. In addition, we can perform environmental testing. The inspection involves checking any suspected materials by taking samples, assessing their condition, and advice about what corrections are needed and who is qualified to make these corrections. Professional correction or abatement contractors are hired after the inspection to repair or remove asbestos materials.

To learn more about Asbestos Inspections, call: (646) 665-4399