In today’s day and age, society and government have taken more of a vested interest in what’s in the air and how regulations can promote health, safety and longevity of life. However, that wasn’t always the case, and we’re witnessing people fall prey to mesothelioma, a deadly cancer. Older homes can be chock full of deadly pollutants lurking beneath the walls, and if you love your old home but also want to keep it updated, you may end up getting exposed to contaminants you never knew were there. Here are three simple home updates to learn more about that should be taken seriously before starting.
1. Pulling Up Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl tiling was very popular in older homes. While it’s not as widely used today, it still covers the floor of many older. If you want to redo or update the floor that’s in your older home, don’t just start pulling up the tile and putting new floors down. What you should do is re-tile on top of what is already there. Since the tiles are old, they most likely contain asbestos. When you start loosening them up before the new flooring goes down, you’re exposing yourself and your family to the contaminants.
2. Removing Ceiling Features
Sometimes you just want something new to look up to: AKA – your ceiling. While you may have opted for a popcorn or textured ceiling at one point, if you want a smoother finish now, don’t just start sanding and re-painting. Many older, textured ceilings used asbestos to create the look. When you start the renovation, you’re directly inhaling asbestos and activating the particles. Have your ceiling tested for deadly pollutants before opting to do the work yourself or having someone else do it. If asbestos or other deadly air-particles are found, a trained professional should be in charge of the removal and update.
3. Updating Insulation
Having good insulation is key to an energy-efficient home. Many people choose to re-insulate or modernize their older homes to get the same benefits in efficiency that newer homes have. However, older, less regulated insulaton had asbestos in it. When you start cutting and re-installing fresh insulation, the asbestos is free to infect other parts of the house. Having your insulation checked is important whether or not you want to update it because contaminants can already be seeping into the air when you use the heat or AC.
There’s nothing wrong with updating and revamping your home to keep it current and up to your standards of living. However, make sure you know what you’re doing and are keeping yourself and your family safe by investigating what could be in your home before you start the project.