I suspect the home I am living in has used some asbestos in is walls. Asbestos causes a serious lung condition in the long run. How can I tell if asbestos was used? What if it is not on the surface of the walls? If it is removed, how do I know some traces do not stay in the air?


  • I think the question should be ," Why would there be any asbestos in the home ?" Sep 21, 2017 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


Depending on where you live abstos abatement can be a DIY project but to answer your question if not disturbed and or encapsulated with paint there is no risk. The risk comes from disturbing it. Things like popcorn ceiling texture many times had asbestos in it. What is the risk to remove asbestos? If done with the proper equipment and decontamination procedures there is not much risk at all. People worked for years in plants without having problems others maybe just a few exposures were enough. Many building materials used to contain asbestos some of the more common ones are pipe insulation not the pink glass more like a cardboard material, flooring many types of square tiles and even rolled flooring. Siding most was like shingles, and popcorn ceilings as mentioned above. I would not be concerned about living in a home that had it but would have materials tested before doing any remodeling. Then find out what your local code is. In my area if double bagged and taken directly to a land fill not a transfer station it is legal to do your own work. Things like respirators, tyvek suits rubber boots &gloves are some items needed to do it safely.

  • Thank you for your answer. I am actually planing on painting the walls. How can I check if the walls have asbestos? What about pipes, can I check if they as wrapped in asbestos? What would that look like? Sep 22, 2017 at 17:11
  • Was asbestos used in my home to prevent fire it was it used as a building material? Sep 22, 2017 at 17:12
  • Yes asbestos was used in many types of floor coverings, popcorn ceilings and exterior siding. I think most people are aware of the insulation but not some of the other things like popcorn ceilings (the thick spray on sponge like texture many brands were loaded with asbestos). These are the ones I remember there are probably others. If the pipe insulation is like a dense cardboard layered it is probably asbestos. I don't remember any wall coverings having asbestos but lead paint was the standard for many years. Both not a hazard if covered with modern paint and you don't chew on the wood work.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 22, 2017 at 17:29

Asbestos abatement (removal) is not a DIY project.

Contact several reliable abatement contractors and get evaluations and estimates for your home.

If done right there will be no trace of it left when they are done.

Good Luck!

  • 1
    Note that if the asbestos isn't disturbed it is generally not needed to remove it. Asbestos is only a problem when it becomes airborne, so leaving it as is is a valid option. If you're planning on doing some work on the area, then you'd definitely want to have an abatement company come in and deal with it at that point.
    – mmathis
    Sep 21, 2017 at 19:18
  • Yes but I need to paint the walls. How can I identify whether asbestos is in my walls? Sep 22, 2017 at 17:12
  • Laymen can't normally identify asbestos or whether it is the friable type or not. That is why you leave it to someone trained for this.
    – ArchonOSX
    Sep 22, 2017 at 17:26

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