Asbestos is a potentially hazardous material you may find in your house if it was built before the 1970’s. Exposure to asbestos is known to cause a serious lung disease named as asbestosis. Apart from that, it is known to cause even worse conditions, like lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers. If you suspect asbestos in your house, you need to call an asbestos testing company to test asbestos in your structure and remove it.
This can cost a good amount of money, but you can save a lot by buying a DIY testing kit. Although you still need professional help to complete the procedure, these kits can at least save you money and give you some control on the process.
Where to Conduct the Asbestos Testing
Once you buy your asbestos testing kit, you need to, first of all, know where you would find asbestos in your building. Any fluffy, grey material you find in your attic may not be asbestos, but there are chances that it contains asbestos. Blown-in cellulose, insulating pellets made of recycled paper, cement shingles, etc. also look like asbestos. The mica-like shine with silver-gold or grey-brown colour material may or may not contain this hazardous material.
These are a few common places where asbestos was widely used in homes built before the 1970’s:
- Floor tiles
- Popcorn ceilings
- Sheet vinyl flooring
- Ceiling cavities made for insulation
- Pipe cement
- Heating pipe
- Roofing tiles
- Exterior cement tile siding
- Roof flashing
Using Asbestos Testing Kits
Sometimes, people decide not to do testing because they do not want to spend too much on laboratory testing. While full-service laboratory testing can be expensive, and easier and cost-friendly alternative would be to buy an asbestos testing kit. Once you buy your kit, the two steps involved in using these kits include:
- Collecting a sample of asbestos from a suspected area of your house.
- Sending the sample to a laboratory and waiting for the test results.
There are two types of kits available in the market. One is the costlier one that includes the cost of the kit as well as the cost of the laboratory fee. Another one is a cheaper kit that has the cost of the kit only, and you have to pay the laboratory fee separately.
Collecting Asbestos Samples
Most importantly, while collecting asbestos samples, you must take proper precaution to ensure you and your family members’ safety. Protective clothing and gear include disposable coveralls, safety glasses, gloves, boot covers and respirators with HEPA filters. You can prevent any loose fibres from mixing in the air by mixing some liquid detergent in water and spraying it in the area. There are two types of samples that you may collect:
- Friable and solid samples: Testing of these samples is easier and less expensive. You just need to take a small sample of this material, store it in a leak-proof bag and send it to the laboratory for testing.
- The test results usually arrive in a week or two. Some labs also provide faster results on payment of some extra cost.
- Dust samples: Testing for asbestos from a sample of dust is often more expensive. You need to gather settled dust in a spoon, keep it in a zip lock bag and send it for testing.
- Since this kind of testing is done using an electron microscope, it is expensive and harder than testing for friable and solid samples.
Any kind of asbestos is suspected to be present in your building and you have made up your mind to test it for verification, buy an asbestos testing kit and use it to do your testing in a safe and cost-friendly manner.