Asbestos is a material made from mineral fibres that was commonly used in the construction of Vancouver homes, as well as residential, commercial, and industrial products throughout British Columbia prior to the late 1980s.
Asbestos is usually found in moisture-prone and/or insulated areas including:
- Ceiling tiles
- Siding and roofing tiles
- Insulation materials – pipes, in the attic, etc.
- Flooring and carpet adhesive
- Bathroom tiles
Unfortunately, the material was proven to have carcinogenic properties and the use of it was consequently banned in British Columbia and throughout Canada.
Asbestos is microscopic and rigid, allowing it to be easily inhaled and lodged in the respiratory system, causing potential health risks and impairing lung function. Depending on the amount and duration of exposure, asbestos has been linked to lung cancer, mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and scarring of the lungs.
Due to its properties, asbestos is only hazardous when it’s airborne as a result of deterioration or disturbance, such as during home renovations. It has a thick and fuzzy appearance and can be white or brown in colour, but it can be very hard to properly identify with just a visual inspection.
If you suspect your home may contain asbestos, given the year it was built and the materials used, it’s important to have a trained WINMAR professional test the material, and create a comprehensive asbestos removal or abatement strategy.