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Will you be exposed to asbestos during your home renovation?

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You may choose to do your next home renovation project yourself to save money and build pride in homeownership. When homeowners choose to renovate older homes, they may not know of hidden dangers and may unknowingly expose themselves to asbestos.

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that is very heat-resistant. Many building materials were made with asbestos and were commonly used in homes built throughout the 20th century. Asbestos is still found throughout most older homes.

When materials containing asbestos are disturbed, asbestos fibers become airborne and are easily inhaled. These dangerous fibers are known to cause mesothelioma, an aggressive type of cancer, as well as other diseases.

Why are home renovations a danger?

Asbestos can be disturbed during even minor home renovations that do not require a building permit. For example, something as simple as installing a new ceiling fan can release enough asbestos fibers to pose a threat to everyone in your home.

Asbestos is often found in building materials such as:

  • Vinyl/tile flooring
  • "Popcorn" ceilings
  • Roof shingles
  • Insulation
  • Fireplaces
  • Lined pipes

Can you remove asbestos yourself?

It is not advisable to try to test for or remove asbestos yourself. There are several accredited, independent asbestos-removal companies that can test your home and dispose of asbestos-containing materials properly. Asbestos cannot be disposed with a neighborhood waste removal service and attempting to do so may even be illegal in your city.

If you develop mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness as a result of a home renovation project, there are legal options you can pursue to help with medical expenses and damages.

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