Asbestos Testing: Common Places to Check Before Remodeling

You probably already know how dangerous asbestos can be to your health. What you probably don’t know is that this dangerous material may be used in various places around your home. If you are not careful when remodeling, you could expose yourself to it. Asbestos is often used in heating ducts, flooring, walls, and roofing. This article will discuss the common places you should have asbestos testing before you do any remodeling.

Heating ducts

Heating ducts are an area that may require asbestos testing because some of them contain a large amount. Cellulose asbestos can also be used to wrap metal heating ducts. This can present a serious problem if they ever begin to deteriorate. If this happens, these fibers will be blown all around your home. The asbestos material looks much like white cardboard.


Some types of flooring may also need asbestos testing. Tiles made for vinyl flooring are often manufactured using this dangerous substance. Under normal circumstances, this doesn’t pose much of a threat. It only becomes a problem if you ever decide to remove the vinyl flooring. Therefore, it is usually a good idea not to remove this flooring, but instead cover it with a new type of flooring.


Shingles that were made before 1980 are another material that should undergo asbestos testing. These shingles were often made with cement or asphalt that was mixed with asbestos. Those that were mixed with cement are particularly dangerous because they can release materials easily. Asphalt shingles are usually more sturdy. Both types are dangerous if you crumble or break any of the shingles. Roofing tars may also contain asbestos.


Drywall compounds and plaster that were made before 1980 usually contain a low percentage of asbestos. If you scrape or sand either of these materials, you will likely be exposed to the dangerous materials. Also, the insulation used in the walls of older homes may require asbestos testing. This material usually looks like hardened cotton. Acoustical ceilings usually have a small amount of asbestos in them, but have as much as 40 percent.


Another area that usually needs asbestos testing is the plumbing. Pipes that are connected to radiators are often wrapped with materials containing asbestos. These materials are generally white in color and can easily be crumbled when you touch them.

You should have asbestos testing done before remodeling some of the parts in your home. Common areas that the dangerous substance is found are heating ducts, vinyl flooring, and walls. You may also find it in some of your pipe and roofing materials.

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