Do you own an old house? Say, a house built between 1930 and 1950? Then there might be a possibility you have T-bar ceiling tiles and other household fixtures containing asbestos. Asbestos is a deadly fibrous element that can cause mesothelioma cancer and other respiratory diseases after long-term exposure.
Handling asbestos containing materials or ACM can be hazardous, but so can leaving it alone. Although intact and untouched asbestos is of minimal health risk, we can never be sure of the condition of ACM in older homes. Keep in mind that when your t-bar ceiling tiles are in poor condition, the asbestos it may contain is easily inhaled and therefore a hazard to you and your family’s health.
Checking Your Homes
T-bar ceiling tiles with dimensions running from 2×2, 2×4 and 2×6 may be classified as ACM. These tiles may have as much as 20% amosite and/or chrysotile, 2 of the 5 known types of asbestos.
Furthermore, ACM debris may also be scattered about on top of a home’s ceiling tiles. These areas are usually near pipe elbows and pipe insulations or areas that have sprayed-on fireproofing, hence the ACM debris.
But the only way to be accurate about the presence of ACM in your home is to have your T-bar ceiling tiles and other fixtures checked by a professional or do so yourself with extreme caution.
Keep in mind that asbestos fibers become airborne only when ACM’s are disturbed, damaged and improperly handled. So, unless you’re sure that your home is asbestos-free, avoid renovating tasks such as sanding and cutting. Ignoring precautionary measures will increase the levels of asbestos in the air inside your home and endanger your life and those of the people around you.
Here are some expert recommendations on how to be safe from asbestos:
- This is the simplest: Avoid materials containing asbestos at all cost.
- If you have ACM’s in your possession, make sure that nothing disturbs them and see to it that they are not damaged.
- If you have to do it yourself, be sure to lift your t-bar ceiling tiles as gently as possible, and slide each one over into the next t-bar ceiling tile. If you’re handling plenty, better let an expert do the job for you.
- Never cut or saw ACM’s if they’re dry. The chance of asbestos fibers getting into the air is reduced if ACM’s are handled with safe liquid substances.
- Never do the following to asbestos-containing materials: sweeping, vacuuming, wrapping, dusting, ripping, grinding, cutting and other similar actions.
- If you discover damaged ACM in your home, or if you’re undergoing remodeling and your t-bar ceiling tiles will inevitably be disturbed, call an expert. An asbestos abatement contractor is the best person to do the job properly.