October 31, 2014 PACENVIRO

Potential Asbestos Hazards of Older Homes

Owning your first home, or moving into a new or pre-owned home may provide excitement and a new sense of comfort for your family, but families should be aware of the health hazards that accompany home ownership.

Look for Asbestos in Your Older Home

Homes built before the 1980’s have a much higher risk of being built with asbestos-containing materials. In fact, one of the leading areas of asbestos in homes comes from insulation and hot water pipes in older homes.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos is most commonly found in older homes in:

  • Attic and wall insulation
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics

Renovating or remodeling your home can release asbestos fibers in the air, exposing you and your family to the cancer-causing mineral. If you’re not sure if something is asbestos, assume it is until verified otherwise, suggests OregonState.edu.

If any asbestos has been dislodged, this needs to be cleaned up immediately. Hire a qualified contractor like Pacific Environmental Group to perform this job to avoid contaminating your home further or causing any exposure to your family or to the workers.

Newer Homes

Newer construction homes are built to pass federal regulations that help to limit the amount of asbestos in building materials placed in new construction homes. Buying a home from a trusted general contractor can help limit your risk of asbestos exposure, which leads to the deadly cancer known as mesothelioma. Carefully choose a general contractor that practices safe behaviors through all stages of the construction process.

Exposed to Asbestos and Online Resources

If you believe you have come into contact with asbestos, visit MesotheliomaHelp.org. Mesothelioma Help features a live chat option 24/7 with certified asbestos doctors and nurses, as well as a number of other very helpful asbestos resources. The site also features live Q & A sessions. You can visit the site and learn more about asbestos exposure in homes and steps to prevent asbestos exposure in your family’s home.


We’d like to thank Nancy Werner with Compose Pros for contributing this well-researched and well-written article to our blog!