Old Toronto Heritage Homes can be Beautiful, But Might Come with this Dirty Little Secret
We love old buildings and we want to preserve the memories that they represent, but they have this dirty little secret that we need to be aware of: the would normally fail in asbestos testing. The reason behind this is simple—the use asbestos in the past and these buildings are good candidates for asbestos removal.
Asbestos in Old Buildings
Buyers of heritage buildings often carry the belief that asbestos might be present in the property they are eyeing for. This is a well-grounded belief because old buildings really used asbestos for a lot of things in the past. Back then, it wasn’t known to cause health problems. Construction materials use it, for almost anything due to its fire resistant properties.
You can’t just dismiss this nagging feeling and to make sure, you better call the experts in this matter and the building tested. This is the only way to find out whether or not, asbestos is indeed present in the building or not. If you don’t want to invest in testing, you better stay away from old buildings and prefer to buy newer ones.
When was Asbestos First Used
The common belief is that asbestos was used from the 1960s onwards. This substance is present is insulation materials, decorative materials, textured coating and ceiling tiles. Although this is the case, asbestos has been mined since 1870 and has been used for various purposes for many buildings.
When central heating was still being used, asbestos finds heavy usage in homes because of its fire resistant properties. This provides some assurance that fire will not easily break out from buildings.
Fast forward today and asbestos is already known to be a health hazard. It has been established that it can cause asbestosis and other diseases of the lungs including lung cancer. Because of this, old buildings that don’t pass the testing process are subjected to asbestos removal. Some are even candidates for demolition.
What was Asbestos Used For
Asbestos found heavy used around the introduction of the central heating system. It was used as insulators for houses and buildings not knowing of the hazards that it brings. There are among 3,000 uses of asbestos but it’s more popular among boiler systems, heating cupboards, and pipe lagging. It was also popularly used in attics as insulators in some properties, usually in between timbers.
So these are the reasons why old heritage buildings are known to have dirty secrets. If you are planning to rent or buy one, make sure to submit it to asbestos testing and removal. Otherwise, you could end up wasting your money on something that is hazardous to your health.
How about you? Do you have any thoughts that you want to share concerning asbestos? Do you have any specific experience regarding this substance? Have you experienced any of its health hazards? If you do, kindly share a thought or two in the comment section below.