How to Identify Asbestos in the Home and Workplace

How to Identify Asbestos in the Home and Workplace

How to Identify Asbestos in the Home and Workplace

Many Toronto homes and commercial buildings built before 1990 contain a carcinogen called asbestos. This fibrous-silicate mineral used to be commonly used in different construction materials, including floor tiles, insulation, and roofing.

Eventually, scientists discovered it was hazardous to human health, which prompted the Canadian government to regulate its use. However, it wasn’t until 2018 that the government banned the manufacture, sale, and use of asbestos.

Today, thousands of commercial and residential buildings still contain this dangerous material, unwittingly putting the lives of homeowners and workers at risk.

Therefore, learning how to identify asbestos is essential for Toronto residents. Although only scientific testing can confirm the presence of asbestos, a few tell-tale signs can help detect its presence.

How to Tell if You’re Looking at Asbestos

Asbestos fibres are so small that they’re invisible to the naked eye. Moreover, the material has no taste or smell. It can therefore be a challenge to know if you’re looking at asbestos.

Before identifying asbestos, understand what to look for when inspecting your property. For instance, most asbestos materials, such as ceilings, walls, and flooring, will have a rough, swirly pattern on the surface. They can be brown, blue, or white. However, since the fibres are mixed with other materials, you can’t rely only on colour to identify them.

Secondly, learn about the building materials used in constructing your home or workplace. Most asbestos products have “contains asbestos” labels on the packaging.

Finally, the third way to tell if you’re looking at asbestos is through a microscope. However, this is not recommended due to the dangers it presents. Accidental ingestion could result in different health complications, including:

  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung, kidney, or throat cancer, etc.

Unfortunately, the only true way to determine if what you’re looking at is indeed asbestos is through an expert survey of the property or suspicious material, followed by sample testing.

Asbestos abatement professionals are equipped with the knowledge and tools to discover the following:

  • The type of asbestos (crocidolite, amosite, or chrysotile) and quantity
  • The location
  • The overall condition of the spread

With this information, they can devise an effective strategy to contain and remove potential asbestos from your home or workplace.

Where Will I Usually Find Asbestos?

Asbestos is typically found in homes and commercial buildings built during the 20th century up to 1990. During this period, most construction products, including flooring, insulation, and popcorn ceilings had asbestos in them. Due to recent regulations, many builders have since limited its use, or stopped using it indefinitely.

Today, you can find asbestos in your home or workplace in the following places:

  • Roof
  • Loose-fill insulation
  • Partition walls
  • Toilet seat and cistern
  • Textiles
  • Decorating coatings for walls and ceilings
  • Cement panels
  • Fireplace
  • Electrical switchboard panels
  • Water tank
  • Kitchen tiles
  • Fences and sheds, etc.

Do I Need a Professional to Perform an Asbestos Test?

One of the most common questions heard from residents and workers in Toronto is whether or not they need a professional to perform an asbestos test. The short answer is: yes.

Asbestos professionals are highly trained and licensed professionals that use industry-standard tools and equipment to inspect areas for potential hazards and collect samples safely. These specialists are fully aware of this material’s dangers and know what to look for.

Asbestos is incredibly dangerous. Thus, taking the DIY route to test is ill-advised, not to mention expensive, since you’ll need to procure the necessary equipment for the job.

Hiring an asbestos abatement professional can mitigate the health risks involved in this dangerous inspection and testing procedure. Moreover, you can enjoy a fast, efficient, and cost-effective abatement.

Contact an Asbestos Abatement Contractor

Contacting a renowned asbestos abatement contractor in Ontario is the most sought-after solution to getting rid of asbestos quickly and effectively. These solution providers will start by inspecting your home or workplace and drawing up a demolition plan.

Next, they will mark and seal the hazardous area, including air ducts and other openings, to prevent airborne fibres from escaping. Once the area is secure, they will slowly remove the asbestos-infested material and place it in airtight and leak-proof material containers.

Finally, they will clean the space with wet mops and EPA-approved cleaning solutions and conclude the procedure with clearance testing.

On the surface, this might seem like a straightforward job. However, regardless of the level of contamination and spread, you will need a team of specialists to work quickly and safely.

When hiring a contractor, make sure to check their credentials to ensure they have the proper licenses, training, and experience to deal with this type of contamination.

At MAGCOR, we have the expertise, experience, and resources needed to safely identify, contain, and remove asbestos from your property and cost-effectively.

Our skilled and reliable asbestos abatement professionals are equipped with the latest technologies and solutions to test and identify your type/level of asbestos contamination and quickly get rid of it.

If you’re looking for certified asbestos inspection and abatement services in Toronto, get in touch with our award-winning team at (416) 887-8833 or info@magcor.ca and let us take care of everything.


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