• Kevin Maxwell

9 Places Asbestos May Still Be Lurking in Your Home.


With their charm and personality, older homes are simply unmatched by most cookie-cutter new developments. Unfortunately, older homes do come with their downsides, too -- especially if they were built before 1980. Up through 1979, countless homes were constructed with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), and these 9 places are the biggest culprits you should be weary of.

#1 Roofing and Siding

Being resistant to heat, fire, and conductivity, asbestos was a common component for siding and roofing shingles. If you have a roof old enough to contain asbestos, it needs to be replaced, but you first need to have it tested by an abatement company.

#2 Flooring

Vinyl floor tiles are one of the biggest culprits for ACMs in households across the country. Asbestos was often used in the backing for vinyl sheet flooring and it can also be found in flooring adhesives. If your floor was installed before 1981, you could have asbestos hiding within it. If the floor is damaged in any way, like gouged or scraped, you could be releasing asbestos fibers.

#3 Pipe Insulation

Thanks to its heat resistant properties, asbestos was often used to wrap around hot water and steam pipes for water and heating systems. Some pipes were even directly coated with asbestos material. As with any ACM, you should leave it alone if it's in good shape. You can choose to then encapsulate it or, if it's damaged, have it professionally replaced.

#4 Wallboard and Joint Compound

If your walls could talk, would they tell you they contain asbestos? Unfortunately, many wallboard and joint compounds, especially those around fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, used asbestos for both flame resistance and strength. Even sanding or patching a hole could cause the release of asbestos fibers, so play it safe.

#5 Popcorn Ceilings

Whether you love them or hate them, popcorn ceilings are a common place for asbestos to be lurking. For homes built from the 1960s through the '80s, these "decorative" ceilings contain a spray-on texture that is typically made from asbestos fibers. If you have a popcorn ceiling, test it before you scrape/remove it or consider sealing it off with a professional's help.

#6 Wallpaper

Any wallpaper or wallpaper adhesive made before 1980 could contain asbestos, especially vinyl wallpapers. Intact wallpaper can be left alone or painted over, but if it's cracked, turn, or curling, you should have it professionally tested. If asbestos is found, a proper abatement company should be put in charge of handling it.

#7 Wall and Ceiling Insulation

For homes built throug