Uncovering the Truth: Could a House Built in the 1980s Contain Asbestos and What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

If you have a property in the US, there is a chance that it could contain asbestos. This is potentially hazardous as asbestos exposure can lead to health complications such as asbestosis, poor breathing, and even lung cancer / mesothelioma.

Generally, the newer your property is, the smaller chance it has of containing asbestos. We can go one step further and break this down into different decades. In this article, we look at properties built in the 1980s and what you should look for. 

Would Your Property Contain Asbestos? 

As you can see, it was during this period that the health hazards of asbestos were uncovered and taken seriously. The condition was known as early as 1930 but it wasn’t truly understood until much later. Indeed, as seen above, asbestos was still mined and relating products were still manufactured during the 1980s.

In most instances, it is considered that if your property was built after 1990, that it should not contain any asbestos. Therefore, if your house was made in the 1980s, there is a higher chance that it could contain the hazardous material.

Although mining was decreasing, and it was stopped being used in residential construction during the late 1970s and early 1980s, there is generally understood to be an overlap. From the point of regulations being imposed and manufacturers stopping creating asbestos-based products, it was still actively sold and used until stocks ran out.

Therefore, you cannot be certain that your 1980s property does not contain asbestos.

What to look for?

Asbestos has brilliant properties that make it suitable for construction products. This includes durability, high strength, and heat resistance. Therefore, during it’s peak, it was used in hundreds of different ways by heaps of US manufacturers. The most common asbestos construction products included:

  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Sidings (cement fibre-based)
  • Floor tiles
  • Adhesive
  • Insulation
  • Vermiculite Insulation
  • Roofing Materials

The problem is, is that asbestos is difficult to identify. There are small visual clues (such as the black coloration of asbestos-based adhesives), but it is virtually impossible to be certain without professional services. 

If your property was built in the 1980s, we advise reading the different guides we have created relating to the various asbestos products. You should then have a clearer idea of what to do, and how to potentially identify it in your homes.

What to do if you suspect asbestos?

If you feel that some materials in your home could contain asbestos, the first thing to do is to make sure. There is no point replacing something like your sidings if you merely suspect they could contain asbestos. This could turn out to be a waste of money.

The simplest way for homeowners is to use one of our asbestos sampling kits. These kits contain PPE equipment to keep you safe, instructions, an addressed envelope to send your samples off.

All you have to do is safely remove a sample (for example, you could use a pair of pliers to break off a small chunk of a siding), complete the sample form, and send them both off to our testing lab. The lab will test the samples quickly and you should receive a certificate within 72-hours which will determine the presence of any asbestos fibres.

You can then decide what to do if the results are positive.

If you find asbestos and the items are damaged or deteriorating (such as cracked floor tiles or loose insulation), it is advised to get it professionally removed. Under no circumstance should you try and remove the asbestos products on your own as you are not likely to have the correct protective equipment or disposal gear.

Don’t Delay – Order a Sampling Kit to Find Out for Sure 

We hope you have found this article useful. Don’t panic if your home was built in the 1980s. If it does contain asbestos, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have health complications. The main point is to do testing to make sure. 

If you find asbestos, you can then decide to either get it professionally removed if it is damaged or keep it and monitor it’s condition for deterioration. Remember that asbestos is not dangerous unless it is disturbed and you breathe in the fibres.