Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was originally used in building materials because of its excellent insulation properties, its fire resistance and its overall strength. Before 1990, many buildings used asbestos mixed with other materials and in fact, it is unusual to find a building built before the mid 1980’s that did NOT contain asbestos in some form.
One of the most common places that you may still find asbestos is in what is recognized as “stucco”, “stippled” or "popcorn" ceilings, a compound of asbestos and plaster which still exists in many homes and was utilized for its sound insulation as well as decorative properties.
There are a number of other areas in our homes where asbestos may be "hidden" so it is a good idea to become aware of these common uses for asbestos so that you do not disturb it and release it into the air inadvertently.
Spray-On Fire Retardant
Often sprayed on structural supports like ceiling beams, fire retardant foam may have been mixed with asbestos. This application could be hidden from view in ceilings and walls.
Many people are unaware that this flooring material may contain high levels of asbestos in the flooring material itself, as well as in the paper material on the back of the sheets. If you remove this flooring, the paper can tear and immediately contaminate the area with asbestos particles.
These tiles were created to be very strong and long-lasting. Unfortunately, the material that gives them their resilience is asbestos. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot determine if asbestos is present by the size of the tile although 9” x 9” tiles are commonly found to be an ACM (Asbestos Containing Material)
Another potential source of hidden asbestos is the insulation used in your home's walls, attic and crawl spaces. Only a professional inspection can determine if the vermiculite in your building contains asbestos.
Drywall Joint Compound
The plaster material commonly used to seal the seams in the drywall was often mixed with Asbestos (usually right on site) prior to 1985 and poses a potential hazard if and when it is disturbed during remodeling or demolition. Recently the Ontario government under O.Reg. 278/05 require that the demolition of any areas identified as containing asbestos containing drywall joint compound be conducted as a Type II operation.
FERRO Canada's team of environmental contracting professionals can assess the presence of asbestos in your building and provide you with safe, efficient and cost-effective solutions while adhering to the strictest safety standards. Contact FERRO today at 1-877-429-7760.
Please view the latest edition of FERRO's digital flip book HERE for a brief overview of how the various areas of expertise and services can benefit you.