Drywall Asbestos: 8 Things You Need to Know

drywall asbestos

When it comes to drywall asbestos, most homeowners don’t think a thing about the drywall in their home being potentially dangerous. The fact is, though, that drywall can be contaminated with asbestos and today we’re covering a few things that you need to know.

Drywall Asbestos: 8 Things You Need to Know

1. Prior to the 1980’s, almost all aspects of drywall building components contained asbestos!

What does this mean? It means that not only drywall but drywall tape and joint compound too were contaminated by asbestos. This didn’t only expose construction workers to asbestos, but it also led to the inclusion of asbestos in your home, putting you and your family in danger.

2. Drywall asbestos dust exposure is inevitable in homes where the drywall is exposed.

During building, when homes were in the drywall process, there was no avoiding exposure to the drywall dust that contained asbestos fibers. Unfortunately, this also means that when working on your home that was built with asbestos-contaminated drywall, that you risk being exposed to asbestos fibers too.

3. It can take years to develop signs of asbestos exposure.

If you have asbestos drywall and asbestos drywall components in your home that are releasing asbestos fibers into the air, it can take years to see the health consequences of this asbestos exposure. That means that even though your body is being exposed to and responding to asbestos exposure, you may not notice the symptoms until much later when damage may be completely irreversible.

4. The use of asbestos-containing joint compound may be more widespread than you think.

Asbestos-containing joint compound was not only used over drywall joints by builders, but it was also frequently used to patch or make repairs to areas of the wall that were damaged during the building process. Some builders even used this joint compound to cover the entire wall surface!

5. It’s not just tearing down asbestos drywall that can cause you to become ill.

It isn’t only the action of tearing down asbestos-contaminated drywall that could expose you and your family to asbestos fibers! Remember, in the example above we mentioned how some builders would cover an entire wall surface with asbestos-containing joint compound? What do you suppose happens to those asbestos fibers when you sand down one of those walls to repaint? You are releasing those asbestos fibers into the air and breathing them in!

6. There was usually between 3 to 6% asbestos content in drywall joint compound!

In drywall joint compound alone, there could have been anywhere from 3% to 6% asbestos content, that doesn’t even factor in the asbestos content of the drywall itself and drywall tape. Even though these products are no longer allowed to be used in homes today, there are still many homes that were built before those products were outlawed that still contain them!

7. Removing asbestos drywall yourself can cause many problems!

If you have determined that your home contains asbestos drywall, it’s important that you don’t try to remove that drywall and replace it yourself. Why? Because removal of asbestos-contaminated drywall can cause a lot of asbestos fibers to become airborne making it easier to breathe them in and harm your health. When you call in a professional asbestos abatement company to do the job, however, they bring in professional equipment to contain the contamination that may result from asbestos drywall removal.

8. Home Damage Can Pose a Real Problem

If your home was built using asbestos drywall and asbestos drywall components, you don’t just run into problems when you renovate your home or sand down walls for painting. One of the most frequent ways that homeowners find out that they have asbestos contaminated drywall is when their home is damaged by leaking pipes, floods, or storm damage. This type of damage results in calling in professionals to clean up the original problem but results in asbestos being identified in the drywall. From here, not only do you have to worry about the extent of exposure over the years, but you also need to be concerned about the exposure that resulted from the damage that led to the discovery and just how much of that asbestos you and your family breathed in.

Our suggestion? Call on an asbestos abatement professional as soon as possible!

Worried About Asbestos Drywall?

If you’re concerned about asbestos drywall in your home and need the assistance of professional asbestos abatement technicians in Ohio, SafeAir Contractors can help. Just pick up the phone and give us a call today at 440-639-1191 and let us put your mind at ease.