If you're about to conduct a home renovation of any kind that will involve some structural alteration, you need to understand what might lie beneath the floor or behind the wall. If you live in an older home, you should assume that asbestos may be present, and you need to know exactly what it can and cannot do before you proceed. In particular, you will need to know the difference between friable and non-friable and how that may impact your work. What do you need to bear in mind?

The Hidden Danger

It's unfortunate, but asbestos is still present in many homes. It was used extensively as a building material until it was outlawed in the build of new homes in 2003. It was often used in tandem with other materials to make products more flexible or longer-lasting, and this means that asbestos may be hidden to a large extent and very difficult to find.

Friable Versus Nonfriable

When asbestos is incorporated with another product and effectively sealed within it, this is known as "non-friable." For example, some asbestos may be contained within concrete products and, while it is sealed in this way, is relatively harmless. If you were to uncover that piece of concrete and it remained intact, the asbestos would not be able to escape.

Asbestos is deemed to be "friable" when it is loose or the area in question may have been damaged. For example, the concrete may have broken during renovation or destruction, and in this case, the asbestos can become a very big problem indeed.

Invisible Fibres

Should any asbestos fibres become loose and make their way into the air, they are impossible to see with the naked eye. They are very dangerous if inhaled and can cause lung cancer and other illnesses many years into the future.

Expert Analysis

In most cases, you will need to bring in an expert to get rid of any asbestos that may be present. Tests will need to be conducted to identify any asbestos and take steps to dispose of it correctly. A professional can handle this if you don't want to make any mistakes.

Better Safe Than Sorry

If you are unsure of what you are dealing with, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Bring in a company that offers asbestos removal so that you can clean up any debris left during renovation and remain as safe as possible.