If you have identified asbestos in your home (see our previous post about sources of asbestos), it may
or may not needs immediate attention. If the material is intact and in good condition, it may not need
to be removed. If the material has been cut, torn, or is showing signs of wear, you may need to have it
removed or repaired. Check with a professional for recommendations.
If a material containing asbestos is not suffering from wear and tear, you can usually leave it alone and
just check it once in a while. Periodically look over the material carefully, watching for signs of cracks,
tears, breaks, leaks, etc.
Any damage could release asbestos fibers into the air, so if you find evidence of damage, contact an
asbestos professional. An asbestos professional may be able to seal off the problem without replacing
the entire asbestos-contaminated material. He or she may seal the material with a sealant that coats
the fibers or binds them together to prevent them becoming airborne. Many of these repairs typically
happen with insulation used around pipes, furnaces, and boilers. Only professionals trained and
certified in asbestos handling should do these repairs or even touch these materials.
As a homeowner with the knowledge of asbestos material in your home, there are things you can do
and things you should not do.
• Avoid damaging the material in any way.
• Hire professionals if repairs or removal is needed.
• Keep away from the material as much as possible.
• Drill, saw, sand, scrape, or otherwise disturb asbestos materials.
• Use anything abrasive on asbestos flooring like brushes or power strippers. (If you need to
replace the flooring, install the new flooring over the old rather than puling it out or otherwise
• Sweep, vacuum, or dust materials that may have asbestos. (Call a professional to come clean it
When in doubt of how to deal with asbestos materials, always defer to a trained professional.