Asbestos wasn’t always perceived as a dirty word. Once called the “magic mineral,” asbestos was promoted as Canadian gold – a unique resource that was going to bring Canada wealth and prosperity. It was only when asbestos miners began coughing up blood in the 1960s and 1970s did the consequences of asbestos become evident. That said, if asbestos has been found in your home, there’s no need to panic. Depending on how and where it was applied, it might not pose any risk.
Because asbestos fibres are strong, durable and non-combustible, asbestos was used extensively in building construction for many years. It was sometimes “flocked” above false ceilings, inside technical ducts and in many other small spaces. Structural components such as asbestos panels were also used. In residences, asbestos was often a component of a type of flocked acoustic ceiling called popcorn ceiling or cottage-cheese ceiling. But the very fibres that make asbestos so strong and durable have also meant its demise. If these microscopic fibres become airborne, as can happen when asbestos is flocked, they can be inhaled into the lungs and cause serious health problems.
In the restoration industry, the most common sources of asbestos are attic insulation products sold in Canada between 1920 and 1990. If the fibres haven’t been dislodged, it’s best to leave well enough alone. But if they have been dislodged in any way, asbestos fibres pose hazards to maintenance personnel who have to drill into walls for installation of cables or pipes. Even if workers are protected, such maintenance operations may release fibres that can be inhaled by others. Interventions in areas where asbestos is present often have to follow stringent procedures.
The experts at Rocky Cross Construction North (RCCN) can provide the information you need to make an informed decision about any asbestos found in your home. Call us for asbestos abatement in Calgary or the surrounding areas.