Pittsburgh is a treasure trove of beautiful architecture, from its famous bridges and stairs throughout the city to thousands of old, brick homes built many decades ago. If you are fortunate enough to own one of these homes, it is likely a delight to your family and friends, especially those who have a special interest in home design and construction.
Sadly, there is often a hidden danger in these homes and others in nearby Pennsylvania regions. That’s why it’s important that you learn as much as you can about the danger of asbestos as well as where it is most likely to exist in your dwelling place.
Pittsburgh homes have character
It is one thing to enjoy the personality and charm of a well-built home. It is quite another to contract a terminal disease because of asbestos exposure due to microscopic fibers that might be floating in the air or clinging to multiple surfaces in your house. The following list includes issues to keep in mind when you live in or visit an older home:
- Because it has flame retardant properties, asbestos was often used in roofing and shingles in home construction years ago.
- It became popular some time ago to cover wood floors with vinyl tiles. Tearing up vinyl flooring can place you at great risk for asbestos injury.
- In addition to being flame retardant, asbestos is also heat resistant, which is why it appears as pipe insulation in many older homes.
- If the construction of your home took place in the mid-1980s or earlier, it is likely that there is asbestos in the wallboard or compound surrounding a fireplace, wood stove or other area of the home.
It is true that the less you disturb an item that contains asbestos, the lower your risk for injury. It is also a fact, however, that there is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, which is why it’s always best to have a certified home inspector check things out before you conduct any renovations or upgrades in your older Pittsburgh home.
Who is most at risk?
People who have worked in factories, shipyards, steel mills, coal mines or other Pennsylvania industries are at great risk for asbestos-related diseases. If you share your house with a spouse, children and occasional visitors, any and all of them may also be at risk for asbestos exposure through second-hand contact.
Receiving a diagnosis of a terminal illness due to asbestos ingestion or inhalation is not only devastating, but it can also spark serious financial and legal issues. This is why it pays to know what types of support resources are available in your area in case a problem arises.