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Home Inspection Service WHI3 Warns Homeowners - Asbestos Could Still Be in Your Older Home


Many homes up until the past the 1980’s were built with asbestos insulation in the walls. But it might also be elsewhere in the home.

March 14, 2011, Birmingham, AL: For almost a century, asbestos was considered an excellent construction material. It was a great insulator against cold and heat, and it was flame retardant. Because of that, not only homes but businesses had asbestos insulation in the walls, in ceilings and stuffed in an around pipes.

It wasn’t until the 1980’s that researchers began to discover asbestos is also toxic and may contribute to certain types of cancer, especially mesothelioma. Anthony Westbrook, owner of WHI3 Home Inspection Services, explains in one of his blogs, "Asbestos that is disturbed or damaged due to age is known as “friable” asbestos. This is a serious concern because its toxic fibers can easily circulate and become inhaled.”

Asbestos can be found anywhere in homes, even some that were built in the early 1990’s. A trained certified home inspector knows to look beyond just the insulation in the walls and perhaps attic. Asbestos can also be found in the materials themselves. Roof shingles, pipe coverings, dry wall board, popcorn ceilings, joint compounds can all be made with asbestos. So can older electrical wires, gaskets, furnace cement & fire brick. Why? Because at the time it was considered a safe way to protect the home or business against damage by fire.

So what should homeowners do to ensure there isn’t any asbestos lingering in their home? Mr. Westbrook warns on his website, "The best advice is to leave any suspected asbestos un-disturbed until evaluated by a professional.” Removal is tricky and should be handled only by those who know how to and how to legally dispose of the tainted materials set out as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations. “Licensed contractors who remove asbestos, will be familiar with the regulations in protecting you and themselves from exposure to asbestos,” says Westbrook. This is one project professional builders, and inspectors say should never be a do-it-yourself one.

Homeowners who live in the Birmingham, Alabama area and would like a certified professional inspector to check their older home for asbestos, may visit W.H.I.3 Home Inspection Services ( or call 205-378-9443 to set up an appointment.


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