“Safety Starts with Me”: Home Improvement and DIY Tips

The summer months are the perfect time to kick off your long list of home improvements and DIY projects. With any do-it-yourself upgrades, safety is always paramount. Each year, June is named National Home Safety month. Also sponsored by the National Safety Council in June is National Safety Month; this year’s theme is “Safety Starts with Me.” The hope is to foster a sense of responsibility in people for their own safety, as well as the safety of others, to avoid preventable injuries and deaths.

For asbestos-exposure victims, the notion of preventable injuries and deaths rings all too clearly. With asbestos use rampant in construction and products used in homes prior to 1980, a renovation project can uncover much more than you bargained for during a project. In spirit of National Home Safety Month, here is some advice to consider when tackling your home projects to keep yourself and your loved ones as safe as possible from the hidden danger of asbestos.

Exterior of Your Home

Roofing and siding are commonly replaced on older homes to update the appearance and to protect the structure of the building. Asbestos is a known fire-retardant material, so having asbestos fibers in the siding, shingles, tar paper, and various glues and sealants was not out of the ordinary to help protect the building. This summer, if lifting the old shingles from a roof or re-siding your home is on your summer to-do list, consider researching or testing the products used on your home so you can finish your upgrade safely.

Interior of Your Home

The list of places and products where asbestos could be hidden in your home may seem endless. Some frequent projects, like replacing tiles, replacing insulation, or removing popcorn ceilings, are all projects to consider calling in a professional asbestos abatement team if you suspect asbestos could be present. These type of projects require materials––like floor and ceiling tiles––to be broken up in order for removal. When asbestos-containing materials are broken up or cut, that is when the potential for friable asbestos is the greatest, putting anyone in your home in danger of inhalation and subsequent exposure.

What to do if Asbestos is Found in Your Home

If you believe there is a great chance that asbestos is in your home, hire a professional asbestos removal contractor to test the materials to confirm if asbestos is present. If asbestos is found in your home, there is no need to panic. Asbestos becomes dangerous when it becomes friable, or disturbed, and its microscopic fibers are released into the air. An asbestos removal contractor can work with you to have the asbestos properly abated from your home so you can get your renovation projects safely underway.

A main component of the Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign’s mission is to educate the public on the dangers of asbestos. Asbestos-related diseases are sometimes unavoidable, but by understanding the risks and locations of this deadly fiber, we can learn how to best prevent exposure. The ACVRC is also fighting to protect those individuals and family members who have already been exposed. In honor of National Home Safety Month, Please sign our petition to protect the rights of asbestos cancer victims.

While it’s important to maintain and update your home for your comfort or for improved curb appeal, it’s more important to consider the theme of “Safety Starts with Me” and take the time to consider properly removing asbestos containing materials from your home safely. Not only will you be taking a great step to keep yourself safe, you’ll also be keeping your loved ones safe from potential exposure as well.