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Is it Time for Asbestos Testing in Your Home?

It’s not uncommon for homeowners today to assume that asbestos is a concern of the past. While it is true that asbestos insulation is not likely to be found in newer homes, it’s certainly possible for older homes to have asbestos in areas that may not be so obvious, which could result in unexpected health issues related to asbestos exposure.

The team at EHC Associates is a trusted source for asbestos testing and abatement in Lancaster County, Philadelphia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware and as part of our ongoing efforts to help homeowners decide if it’s time to take advantage of the service we offer, we have compiled a list of four warning signs that it may be time for asbestos testing in your home.

1. Having Recently Had Renovations Done

Asbestos does not pose a health risk if it’s undisturbed, even in older homes. It’s only when fibers get loose and become airborne that a problem exists. However, home improvement work can easily disturb older asbestos-containing materials, which is why homeowners who’ve recently renovated a home built before the EPA banned asbestos in the late 1970’s should have testing performed. Even some homes built during the 1980’s may still contain some asbestos in floor tiles, ceilings, pipe cement, and other products and materials. This is because the EPA didn’t extend the asbestos ban to include all newly manufactured products until 1989.

basement with asbestos being renovated

 

The following household materials installed before the late 1980’s may also contain asbestos:

• Vinyl tiles
• Vinyl sheet with millboard or paper
• Older, flat corrugated roofing
• Vent covers
• Older ceilings with asbestos cement sheets

 

2. Seeing Disintegrating Pipes or Duct Sealants

Even if a home has been recently renovated, all asbestos insulation or asbestos-containing materials may not have been removed, especially if a home has basement pipes that were untouched during renovation efforts. It’s also easy to overlook basement pipes because they’re often not visible.

But if disintegrating materials around your basement pipes are spotted, it’s time for a homeowner to have asbestos testing done. Similar issues may exist if you have older ductwork that was sealed with asbestos-containing materials.

 

3. Noticing Symptoms of Asbestosis or Mesothelioma

One of the dangers of undetected asbestos in homes is the possibility of developing serious asbestos-related conditions. Two of the most common ones are asbestosis and mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease specifically related to expose to asbestos fibers.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

Common mesothelioma symptoms include:

• General fatigue
• Unexplained weight loss
• Shortness of breath and/or chronic dry coughing

Common symptoms of asbestosis include:

• Loss of appetite
• Chest pain or tightness
• Persistent coughing and/or shortness of breath

man coughing with symptoms of mesothelioma

4. Having an Older Gas Fireplace with Fake Ashes

Because asbestos is extremely heat resistant, it was frequently used in artificial fireplaces to create fake embers and ashes. So, in homes with an older fireplace like this, it’s best for homeowners to err on the side of caution and have their home tested for asbestos. This also applies to homes with older furnaces that may have an asbestos coating in certain areas.

What Does Asbestos Look Like?

The fact is that most homeowners don’t know what asbestos looks like. The appearance of asbestos will vary based on what it was originally used for. For example, asbestos sprayed coatings like what may be found on the underside of roofs, in ceilings, or in walls as insulation basically looks like sprayed fire extinguisher foam. Homeowners might find asbestos in thermal insulation painted with bitumen, wrapped, or sealed with a coating of plaster. Materials like this tend to have a high fiber release risk when they wear down with age.

Once a popular choice for fire protection in internal partition walls and acoustic and thermal insulation, asbestos insulating board (AIB) may be seen in large blocks or tile-like pieces. It’s usually a plain white material. For instance, if AIB was used in an old fire door, it might become noticeable when the door’s exterior material chips or wears aware. Asbestos may also be found as:

• Textured, decorative coatings on ceilings and walls
• Paper or felt for that was used for general heat insulation or fire protection on things like roofing felt
• Asbestos-reinforced plastics on older toilets or staircases
• Thermoplastics used in floor tiles
• Insulating barriers on older circuit breakers
• Bitumen products made with asbestos

The Three Types of Asbestos Fibers

To further clarify what asbestos looks like, let’s look at the three types of asbestos fibers. Accounting for more than 90 percent of asbestos found in U.S. buildings, chrysotile asbestos fibers are white, flexible, and curly. Tremolite fibers can range in color from milky white to darker green fibers. These are also sharper-shaped fibers that are easier to inhale. Straight, needle-like amosite fibers can also become easily trapped in lungs. It’s also these brown-colored fibers that were once widely used in many asbestos-containing products.

Contact EHC Associates today to schedule asbestos testing if you think you may have this substance in your home. If asbestos is found, we can recommend appropriate, affordable abatement options.

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Our Google Reviews

Maria G Becerra cruz
Maria G Becerra cruz
18:38 10 Oct 20
It has been a pleasure working with EHC at Armstrong. Alex Henriquez did a great job explaining the work plan, and was very receptive to any small requests/changes we at Armstrong made. Elio Cirilo did an excellent job providing us with quick, accurate estimates.
Jeremy Brickner
Jeremy Brickner
20:18 29 Sep 20
I have had the pleasure of working with Dan and Alex on several projects over the past year. They are very professional and thorough. I would highly recommend their services to anyone.
Katie D
Katie D
18:20 28 Sep 20
Barb King (VP of Operations), Mark Andrechik (Inspector), Cathy Workinger (HR Manager/Office Administator), Wendy McCall (Estimating Administrative Assistant) ESPECIALLY, as well as the rest of the EHC team members I came into contact with have exemplified professionalism, promptness, compassion, and the highest quality in service for myself and my home over the past 10+ months at various times. Barb King directly responded to my every request and concern better than I could have asked for, and Mark went above and beyond to personally text me to discuss any concerns or questions I had about the Mold Test Results and Summary he provided. Mark and Barb King also continued to make themselves available to me for any questions long past the initial work had been completed and truly exemplified what every homeowner would hope to see and receive in quality of service amidst facing a crisis in their home.Though they may not be the “cheapest” option, rest assured you will thank your lucky stars for every additional cent you throw their way once you realize the outcome and peace of mind provided to you as a result. If you ask me, the peace of mind that you are receiving what you have paid for and more in and of itself is priceless...especially in these uneasy times through this pandemic.
Alix Unwin
Alix Unwin
14:56 08 Sep 20
EHC was fast at and on time for the work on our house. I would recommend them.
JD Roy
JD Roy
22:00 07 Aug 20
Very pleased with the outcome. Alex Henriquez and his crew were simply awesome. Cathy, Barb, Wendy and Elio were very professional and courteous. This team hit a home run...highly recommended!
Ron Mathiot
Ron Mathiot
23:48 05 Aug 20
This is the third time EHC has helped me with a problem and I couldn't be happier. This time Alex and his helper removed duct work with asbestos and did a fantastic job. Having asbestos is scary and these guys make it seem like an everyday occurrence. The office personnel are so kind and polite. This is a great company. Thanks EHC for your very professional, excellent work.
Nancy Benedict
Nancy Benedict
21:34 01 Aug 20
E.H.C. was very responsible to our needs! It was a small job in our basement, that was done promptly. Alex Henriquez and his team were courteous, quick and thorough. I would recommend highly!
Tom Curry
Tom Curry
15:30 16 Jul 20
Great service! Muchisimas gracias, many thanks to Alex Henriquez, Jorge Ortega Sr., and Jorge Ortega Jr. for amazing work! Very professional, thorough, and efficient. Couldn't have done it without you!
Naiomi Tapia
Naiomi Tapia
04:47 09 Jul 20
Alex and his crew just finished removal of asbestos tile from my basement. They arrived right on time and finished quicker than estimated. Alex was helpful and polite. Great experience!
Travis Lehman
Travis Lehman
19:10 28 May 20
Alex Henriquez and his team were wonderfully patient, professional, and efficient. Having their services to clean and sanitize COVID-19 was a great blessing to all of us!
Kay B
Kay B
13:17 15 May 20
Great costumer service by their employees.Providing a great service to our community.Spotted one of their great job supervisor ALEX HENRIQUEZ doing a great job at out community police department (Columbia borough police department) keep up the great work guys.GREAT JOB E.H.C ASSOCIATES
Gerson Urena
Gerson Urena
15:20 13 May 20
Alex Henriquez
Alex Henriquez
19:11 11 Apr 20
We recently had EHC come into the house to clean out the asbestos insulation on the plumbing in the crawl space.Luis Erena and his crew came in and did a first class job. Very quick and efficient.I would highly recommend EHC and Luis to everyone.Dave Natale
Dave Natale
Dave Natale
22:35 26 Mar 20
Daryl with EHC has been such a pleasure to work with on site at the Coatesville VA Medical Center. His team is performing our demolition and Asbestos abatement, Veteran Design and Construction Inc and myself would highly recommend EHC and Associates for any job large or small. Thank you Daryl for all of your hard work and taking the time to go above and beyond and keeping our clients safe during abatement and demolition on our sites.
Hugh Galbreath
Hugh Galbreath
12:11 26 Feb 20
great service from Daryl Hartman I really enjoyed the way he supervised the crew, Great job I will use again in the future.
Ervin Coop
Ervin Coop
20:48 24 Feb 20
Daryl and his team have done an amazing job organized and effect will be using ehc again
Bruce Phifer
Bruce Phifer
20:26 24 Feb 20
All involved was very professional and courteous.Thank you. Elio, Dan, Arthur, CJ, Luis, I forgot some names.
Dennis Matias
Dennis Matias
13:46 24 Feb 20
We contacted EHC, set up an appt and Mark came to visit and took readings. We suspected mold issues due to our Grandson was having a reaction every time he visited us recently. The testing indicated mold in our ducts. Art and Nelson came out and in 2 days the cleaning and treatment eradicated the issue. The whole process was seamless and we are confident it was totally taken care of.Art and Nelson were professional and courteous during this process, we couldn't have asked for more.
Richard Heller
Richard Heller
20:26 18 Feb 20
Wonderful service and experience. Elio was very knowledgeable and had excellent customer service skills. I would recommend them hands down.
Sukie Suarez
Sukie Suarez
22:28 14 Feb 20
EHC completed asbestos floor tile removal and interior demolition in the basement of our home. Throughout the process, I was highly impressed and very satisfied with their professionalism and responsiveness. The work was supervised by Daryl who went out of his way to communicate and was very diligent in ensuring the work was completed to a high standard.
Dominic Rice
Dominic Rice
20:51 10 Feb 20
We have worked along side of EHC and CJ on various projects and they have always been professional. It is great to partner with Companies like EHC.
dustin gingrich
dustin gingrich
11:38 31 Jan 20
We recently used EHC on a project with great results. The demolition scope was vital to keep a tight schedule on track. CJ and his team were up to the task and able to finish as promised. They were professional and made sure the site was cleaned up after every shift.
Doug McKain
Doug McKain
00:05 30 Jan 20
Mr. Cirilo was very patient and took time to answer all of our questions. We appreciated his effort to educate us and not just prescribe a solution.
Konrad Martin
Konrad Martin
17:04 28 Jan 20
Very satisfied with the mold remediation in our attic space. Alex Henriquez was in charge and communicated very well, explaining every step that was going on. He is quite pleasant and an asset to your company. The team was very prompt and efficient. Very glad we chose EHC!
Martha Kast
Martha Kast
21:13 20 Jan 20
We’ve been partnering with EHC for sometime and they are an outstanding company that provides excellent service.
Paul Nanni
Paul Nanni
11:58 10 Jun 19
This was a very positive experience. They showed up as scheduled and were very professional. They alerted me of a possible problem with my existing unit and supplied a detailed summary of the work done.Follow up was immediate. I highly recommend this company.Susie Ketner, Homeowner
Carolyn Ketner
Carolyn Ketner
00:59 31 May 19
Very professional and easy to work with. Kind and knowledgeable staff all around. I'd recommend them to everyone!
Beth Frey
Beth Frey
16:42 29 May 19
Company was great to work with from estimating to the final reports sent to us after the job was completed. They communicate well, show up as scheduled and do the job as estimated very well. Will definitely recommend in the future. Thanks again to everyone! Matt Shay - Dale E. Wentling Inc.
Matthew Shay
Matthew Shay
20:37 08 May 19
Anton Luse
Anton Luse
15:46 22 Mar 19
Obligatory 5 stars. I work for them, they're a great company.
Forrest Black
Forrest Black
01:25 26 Jan 19
On Red Rose bus.
philip Wrightstone
philip Wrightstone
21:33 27 Dec 18
My experience with EHC Associates has been excellent. They have been so helpful from the moment I placed the first phone call to when I payed my invoice today. My family has been out of our house for remodeling for almost 2 months. When we were able to move back in it dawned on me that there was a chance that some of the old building materials that were removed could have contained asbestos. I called EHC to get my air tested to make sure it was safe for my family to move back in. I called on Monday and they were able to squeeze me in for the test that very same day. I paid to get my results expedited and I had the information back the next evening. The price was not outrageous either. Thank you EHC and a very special thank you to Wendy, Elio, & Cathy for being so friendly, professional, and informative. I am a supervisor for a customer service call center and I can tell you that they get an A+ in my book for the way they treated me as a customer!
Kari Devers
Kari Devers
15:45 14 Dec 18
Kathryn Verwohlt
Kathryn Verwohlt
16:51 23 Jul 18
Antonio Díaz
Antonio Díaz
01:26 31 May 18
Mi nuevo empleo . gracias a ese personal q me ha recibido de buena gana.
Joel Jander Pantoja Izquierdo
Joel Jander Pantoja Izquierdo
22:39 08 Jan 18
Es tan buenas y efectivas que en una escala del 1. Al 15 , siendo 1. Lo más impresionante y que resuelve ,y 15 un alto rendimiento en trabajo efectivo, yo le daría un 18
Roberto Rodriguez
Roberto Rodriguez
04:14 15 Dec 17
EHC saved the day for us! During construction we encountered possible environment materials on our site. Because all of trades were lined up to do work on a very tight time schedule, I called EHC who sent a representative out within hours of my call. The rep took samples and by 2PM the next day I got a call with the results of the sampling (yea no hazardous materials!) thus allowing us to stay right on our construction schedule. Thank you EHC for saving the day!!!
Todd Lehman
Todd Lehman
18:34 01 Dec 17
I called E.H.C. with some questions about a property I'm buying. The person I talked to was very helpful and friendly. He basically told me that i don't need his services and went into detail to explain why. He really put my mind at ease about the purchase. I'm glad I don't need there help right now, but if I do, they'll get my business for sure!
John Noll
John Noll
20:04 25 Apr 17
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