Asbestos: What Every Homeowner & Contractor Should Know

Asbestos: What Every Homeowner & Contractor Should Know

Many people are aware of the dangers of breathing in asbestos fibers. They can cause mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs. They can also cause other types of lung cancer and other, non-cancerous, lung problems.

What most people don’t know is that there is no asbestos ban in the United States. While most in-home uses for asbestos were phased out by the 1980s, it still remains legal for 12 or more applications.

Sometimes, homeowners start a DIY home improvement project, only to unwittingly release asbestos into their homes. Most of these homeowners don’t know how to identify an asbestos ceiling or what asbestos might look like in other places.

Therefore, anyone who lives in a home built in the 1980s or before should have an asbestos test conducted by a certified firm before starting any remodeling project in the home. If there’s a problem, they should hire Delaware asbestos abatement contractors to fix the problem before they continue with their project.

Where Asbestos Can be Found in Homes

Some areas but not limited to where you may find asbestos in a building built in 1980 or prior:

  • Cement
    • Asbestos was added to the cement mix for added strength and lighter weight durability, along with being a proven insulator and fire retardant.
  • Roof Shingles
    • This type of shingle looks just like a slate shingle. The United States roofing industry started mixing color pigments into the asbestos shingle creating more color choices. In an effort to prevent a house fire from burning down the whole town, the near-fireproof asbestos shingle was born.
  • Steam Pipes
    • Cheap and easy meets effective and durable. Water and steam pipes were often wrapped in grayish white corrugated paper and appeared as a plaster or paste on valves and elbows. These contain asbestos. This type of sealant may be located on uncommon parts of the piping system as well.
  • Ceiling and Floor Tiles
    • The asbestos ceiling tile will be in a 2×2 or 2×4 manufacturer cut. It is very hard to tell if an asbestos containing material is present. Asbestos in floor tiles made them very durable and a great choice for high traffic areas. Both 9″x9″ and 12″x12″ tiles may contain asbestos. 9″x9″ if they were made before the 1960’s.
  • Textured Paint
    • Today’s technique for a popcorn ceiling look consists of a paper-based or Styrofoam product instead of asbestos. So again, it’s hard to know how to identify an asbestos ceiling without testing the material.
  • Spray-on Insulation
    • Developed to be a fireproofing, labor reducing, insulating material, spray-on insulation in many large commercial buildings can be found if the ceiling is encapsulated with a thick layer of grey coating.

How to Test for Asbestos

The several types of mineral fiber Asbestos can only be positively identified microscopically. Most of the time, they use a special microscope, designed specifically to identify fibers like asbestos. Some at-home test kits are available for asbestos. Homeowners can purchase these, get a sample of the material they want to test, then send in the kit and wait for their results.

However, unless a homeowner has training and experience to deal with asbestos, they risk exposing themselves and others through the simple act of taking a sample. Instead, finding and locating asbestos should only be conducted by a trained and licensed professional.

The same applies for removal. Delaware asbestos abatement contractors are specially trained to seal, cover, or otherwise treat areas containing asbestos so that it does not escape into the home. Once the work is done, homeowners can feel safe and secure in their homes again.

Info About DIY Water Damage Cleanup

Info About DIY Water Damage Cleanup

DIY water damage restoration Georgetown DE

When water damage affects your home, you should always consider calling a professional. If you choose to handle some of it yourself, make sure to follow these guidelines to ensure it is done right and that you protect yourself as well as your home.

Make Sure You Are Safe

Take time to ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk at all. Wear proper PPE attire. Put any contaminated items in one area, and check for the presence of mold or asbestos. Make sure that there is no electricity where the water damage is, and check for any tripping hazards.

Take Record Of The Damage

Make sure to photograph any damage contents or damaged parts of your property, for insurance purposes. Snap as many photos as you can of affected areas, and take detailed notes with date and time of the events. This will save you a lot of time and struggle later on with your insurance company.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Make sure that all of your communications with insurance are well documented, through email or by letter. Make sure to meet with the adjuster and ask them all the question you have. Give them your list and photos of the water damage, and make sure to double check that they are not ripping you off.

Work On Getting Things Dried Out

Remove any coverings to address saturation on the carpet. Introduce air flow and dehumidification efforts to the wet areas, and monitor it with a moisture meter until you are sure the area is dry enough.

Keep An Eye Out For Mold Growth

If you notice any mold or suspect that mold may be growing in the water-logged areas, call a professional. Section off the affected area, and try to dry and clean it as best you can, until an expert can come in and remediate it.

Hire For Water Damage Repairs

Start by finding a reliable contractor that will work with your insurance policy and within your insurance policy limits. Work with the team to make your selections, and they will go in and repair everything, making it good as new.

Remember to call a professional like those on staff at Core24 Services if you have any questions or concerns about water damage at your property

DIY Water Damage Repair

When water damage affects your home you should call a professional. If you aren’t ready to yet, please remember these few tips:

diy water damage repair georgetown de

  1. Remember Safety First!: 

    Establish the source of contamination
    Remember water and electricity don’t mix, be careful!
    Wear proper PPE
    Check for lead or asbestos present (common in homes built prior to 1980)
    Watch for tripping hazards 

  2. Record the Damage:

    Take photographs of the damaged contents or affected building materials 
    Take detailed notes with the date and time of water damage
    Use emails to communicate with your insurance company, not just phone calls

  3. Notify Your Insurance Company:

    Document all conversations through email to establish a timeline
    Make sure to meet in person with the adjuster
    Supply documentation of the water damage to the insurance company
    BEWARE of bad faith adjusting!

  4. Give Time to Dry:

    Remove coverings to address saturation on materials such as carpet
    Introduce adequate air flow to the wet areas
    Add dehumidification device
    Monitor wet areas with a moisture meter

  5. Watch For Mold!

    Mold loves damp areas, if you suspect any mold, call a professional!
    If you do see mold, remove any airflow from the area to prevent spreading
    Section off and quarantine the moldy area
    Dry clean, and spot treat with a mild detergent if necessary

  6. Call A Professional for Water Damage Repairs:

    Find a reliable and trusted contractor who can perform water damage restoration safely and thoroughly
    Know your insurance policy and your insurance policy limits
    Once you’ve chosen your water damage restoration company, make sure they can perform mold remediation
    Make sure everything is clean, and stay strong through the process

Remember to call a professional if you have any questions or concerns, like Core24 Services of Georgetown, Delaware. 

Phone number: 833-Core24

Here’s What You Need to Know About Mold in Your Crawlspace

picture in georgetown of  mold in crawlspace

Many homeowners don’t think too much about their crawlspace until it causes a problem. Unfortunately, one of the most common crawl space issues is mold. Once mold gets into your crawl space, it can be hard to remove and can infiltrate the rest of your home. Here’s what you need to know about mold in your crawlspace so you can take care of any issues that do pop up.

Why Is There Mold in My Crawlspace?

Your crawl space sits right on top of the dirt. This dirt can contain quite a bit of moisture, especially after it rains or snows. And mold needs moisture to grow!

Add to that the fact that the wood beams supporting the crawlspace can be nourishment for the mold, and you have yourself the perfect storm. Unless you check your crawlspace often, it can be a great place for mold to grow unmolested.

How to Prevent Mold in Your Crawl Space

There are a few things you can do to prevent mold in your crawlspace.

  • Install a plastic barrier. A plastic vapor barrier should cover the entire floor of the crawl space and go up at least a few inches on all walls. It should be held in place and checked regularly for pooling water.
  • Make sure there aren’t any holes in the foundation where water could enter your crawl space.
  • Ventilate your crawl space. We suggest AT LEAST 1 square foot of ventilation for every 150 feet of crawl space, though more ventilation can improve air flow and allow your crawlspace to dry out faster.
  • Ensure that your gutters and/or downspouts drain at least 6 feet from your foundation. You can buy extenders to take the water away if you don’t have this much space.
  • Check your insulation regularly. Make sure that it is secured against the subfloor, not just stuffed up there. And if it is sagging, you may already have a moisture problem in your crawlspace.
  • Make sure that all dryer vents send air outside your home, not into the crawl space. After all, you don’t need more moist, hot air to help the mold along!
  • Get a high quality sump pump and make sure it is working as it should. If necessary, get a backup battery so it can function even if the power goes out.

How to Get Rid of Mold in your Crawlspace

If you do end up with mold in your crawlspace, you’re likely to need professional crawl space mold remediation. It involves a lot of work in a tight space, with a high amount of attention to detail because of the little nooks and crannies involved. In order to make sure you get rid of all the mold effectively and treat all necessary areas so that it stays away, you will likely want professional expertise guiding the process.

Contact us at Core24 Services if you have mold or moisture problems in your crawl space. We’ll come out, assess the problem, then perform crawl space mold remediation as needed. We won’t leave until your house is mold-free and you won’t have to worry anymore.

When is Mold Season?

mold season delaware

If you or someone you love is experiencing severe allergies and/or asthma in your home, it might be time to consider whether mold has taken up residence in your house. While mold can grow all year long, it is usually more active in some seasons than in others. If symptoms get bad, it might be mold season.

Mold can grow anywhere where there is both moisture and a food source for it. Since mold can feed off most organic material, including wood and paper, it can easily grow in your home. Here’s what you need to know to help prevent that growth and keep your home safe.

So When Exactly is Mold Season?

Mold growth most commonly occurs from mid-spring to mid-fall, and it peaks during the summertime. Here in the southeast, that’s when conditions are optimal for it. We have plenty of humidity, so it has the moisture it needs. We also have plenty of living material for the mold to feed on.

However, mold can even feed on dead organic matter. If your home gets moist enough, this means that it can easily live in drains, in walls, behind drywall, and more!

When is Mold Allergy Season?

Mold allergy season generally parallels mold growth season, as outlined above. Most people with mold allergies find that their symptoms are worse between the middle of spring and the middle of fall, which is when mold grows faster.

Summer, especially late summer, seems to be the worst time of year for people with mold allergies. This is when the mold is the most active, releasing more of the spores that trigger symptoms. If you or someone you love has a mold allergy that doesn’t go away (or even worsens!) when they are inside your home, it’s time to have a professional check your house for mold!

Does Mold Grow Year-Round?

Mold stays alive all year long, but it tends to go dormant in the winter. This happens when temperatures get too cold for mold to thrive or when the dry winter air means that it doesn’t have the moisture it needs to keep growing.

Even though the mold might go dormant, it doesn’t die. Instead, it saves the resources it has, slows its growth, and waits until conditions become optimal for it to grow again.

Just because mold isn’t spreading in the winter doesn’t mean you should let it be. If you find mold in your house during the winter, make sure you get rid of it completely. That way, it won’t start growing again when spring comes.

Note that mild winters may allow mold to continue growing, even if it slows down for a while. Thus, allergy symptoms may continue throughout the winter even if plants outside are not growing.

What Should I Do to Avoid Allergy Problems During Mold Season?

The best way to avoid allergy issues during mold season is to make sure there’s no mold in your home to begin with. You can call us today and one of our mold remediation pros will come to you, test for mold, and let you know what we find. No matter what we encounter, we can come up with a plan that will get rid of your mold so that no one needs to suffer in your house anymore.

Contact us at Core24 Services today or whenever you need help getting rid of mold in your house!