Asbestos 101

Oh, asbestos. It’s a bit of a four-letter word in today’s society, isn’t it? We whisper it behind cupped hands, embarrassed that it’s a conversation that we need to have. Well, be embarrassed no more.


Asbestos is a cruel little bugger, but easy to eradicate if caught early. Welcome to your crash course in what it is, how it happens, and how to get rid of it. Today, we partner with Five Star Reblocking & Underpinning, a local reblocking, restumping and underpinning company dedicated to ensuring your home is safe and comfortable—something that My Property Tools can definitely relate to.

So let’s dive in! First up- what is asbestos? If we’re syncing up with our friends at Merriam Webster, then Asbestos refers to a group of six types of naturally occurring minerals. Asbestos minerals are made up of fine, durable fibers and are resistant to heat, fire and many chemicals. ... However, any exposure to the group of minerals can lead to pleural mesothelioma and other diseases such as lung cancer or asbestosis.”

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? The fear of its side effects has led many families to not eradicate the issue, instead allowing it to become worse. We want to avoid that by educating our readers early and often, so that they feel equipped to make the right decisions for your home. But here’s the thing—asbestos can be found in dozens of common building materials, meaning that it’s much more prevalent than you may think. It can be in your ceiling, floors or walls, especially if your home was built earlier than the 1980s. There are common characteristics in each of the six aforementioned minerals, but they’re difficult to identify if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Luckily, we do! Each is both odorless and tasteless. It has to be tested by a laboratory. We know, we know, that’s no fun- right? How are you supposed to spot and remove it yourself?

Please, please don’t! This is a job for the experts. While not banned in many countries, organizational like the EPA in the United States are trying to regulate it as much as possible. Back in 1973- more than one million tonnes of asbestos were used worldwide. Flash forward to 2005, and the use was down to less than 5,000 tones. Asbestos can still typically be found in materials that have heat-resistant properties. So, what to do? Call an abatement expert! You may get into serious hot water with local governments and building councils if you try to eradicate it yourself. If you’re already a homeowner, they can remove it from your home. If you’re looking to buy, it may be required by law in your area to ensure that the home is asbestos free before you move in.

Questions? Comments? Give us a shout. Here at My Property Tools, we’d love to hear from you. And be sure to check out Five Star Reblocking & Underpinning site for more information about reblocking, restumping and underpinning.