Why Houses Built Before 1980 May Be a Death Trap and How to Seek Help

Asbestos was commonly used in building materials. Many products are still in place today contain asbestos,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals made up of thin, microscopic fibers. Asbestos offers heat and chemical resistance, fireproofing and strength. As a result, asbestos was a popular additive to a variety of products. Individuals exposed to asbestos face health risks including cancer and other illnesses.

There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, according to the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen and is the only known cause of mesothelioma. This serious cancer is caused by breathing in or ingesting asbestos fibers, which become lodged in the thin membrane that lines and encases the lungs and abdominal cavity.

One source of asbestos exposure often overlooked is in the home. If the house was built prior to the 1980s, it was likely built with some asbestos-containing materials.

Asbestos products found around the home

Asbestos can be loosely or firmly bound. In older homes, firmly bound asbestos may be found in:

  • Exterior fibre cement cladding (AC or fibro) and weatherboards
  • Artificial brick cladding
  • Flexible building boards – eave linings, bathroom linings, cement tile underlay
  • Corrugated cement roofing
  • Flue pipes
  • Architectural cement pipe columns
  • Textured paint
  • Vinyl floor tiles or coverings.

Loosely bound or ‘friable’ asbestos was rarely used in domestic situations. However, it is possible that loose asbestos fibres may have been used as:

  • Insulation on hot water pipes
  • Insulation in old domestic heaters
  • Insulation in stoves
  • Ceiling insulation products.

You May Be Eligible for Compensation

Discovering toxins in your home is often terrifying – it’s not just lowering the value of your home, but it’s also potentially causing long-lasting health problems.

While remediation or mitigation of the issue is often a necessary step upon discovery, that is sometimes easier said than done. Not everyone has the money to shell out to fix a problem they didn’t see coming.

Plenty of homeowners find themselves in the same boat when they find potentially major household hazards, but there are a number of ways to seek compensation or reimbursement to help cover the cost of the necessary repairs.