Asbestos is Everywhere

Some people really love a challenge. It’s why so many actually look forward to buying an older Toronto home, affectionately listed as “A Renovator’s Dream” and putting in the sweat equity to restore the house to its former glory. Eager home renovators bust out the sledgehammer to get started on building a dream. Unfortunately, many of these enthusiastic renovation projects are often less like “Property Brothers” than they are like “The Money Pit.”

Of course nobody sets out to encounter problem after problem in a home renovation project, but hazardous materials like asbestos and lead were used virtually everywhere in the days of old construction. Those renovating homes in Southern Ontario are extremely lucky if they don’t find at least one dangerous building material lurking underneath a surface slated for remodelling.

Asbestos in Common Building Materials

Like lead paint, asbestos is only dangerous when the fibers become airborne. As long as it remains undisturbed, the recommended course of action to treat asbestos may be to just leave it alone. However, if you’re planning the renovation of an older home, no matter how minor, it is imperative to find out if there is asbestos in the house before those fibers are disturbed by demolition.

Most people know to check for the presence of asbestos in the attic because the rock-based material was well-known for its fireproofing and insulating properties. But did you know that asbestos was also widely used in a multitude of building materials? It’s not uncommon to hear of people ripping up flooring in the kitchen only to find a layer of asbestos tiles standing between them and a successful renovation. Then there are those hoping to turn the basement rec room into the Man Cave of the Century who are truly shocked to discover asbestos in the old acoustic ceiling tiles. Still others in need of something relatively innocuous, like a simple roof repair, learn that one of the old layers of shingles contain asbestos.

Asbestos can be lurking at every turn in older homes, from the roof right down into the basement. It could even be present in that adorable ironing board cover your grandmother passed down to you. That’s why when you are purchasing a home in Toronto, it’s a good idea to walk through it with an environmental remediation firm as you develop your renovation plans.

Safe Removal is the Key

The discovery of asbestos in the home is definitely a shocking one, but it doesn’t have to spell the end of a dedicated renovator’s dream. The safe removal of asbestos, or lead abatement, is possible. By working with a professional asbestos removal company, the asbestos in your new dream home can be removed and disposed of, safely, with the utmost care and attention to the environment.

Once the asbestos materials in your house have been taken care of, you can carry on with the renovations to create the house of your dreams.

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at

Did you know?

Between 1920 and 1980, over 240,000 homes across Canada were insulated with materials that contained asbestos.
Find out if your home was one of them
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