Asbestos is a very dangerous substance, which is why many homeowners become concerned if they suspect this material is in any area of their home. While asbestos can often be found in the walls or attic, it has also been used as part of ceiling tiles, flooring, fireproofing materials and other such insulators, and it may even be outside, in the soil. Note a few signs that can help you decide if you should have your home tested for asbestos and if it might be dangerous if it is found.

If areas of building materials are crumbling

If you suspect that the home has asbestos in the walls, ceiling tiles and other such areas, note if those areas are crumbling. Don't try to manually check by pulling anything away from the walls or ceiling, as this can cause asbestos to become airborne; instead, simply give the area a good visual inspection for signs of degradation. Do you see cracks, dust or crumbling wall coverings, or is everything relatively intact? If asbestos is intact, it is unlikely to become airborne so it may be not much of a danger if it is present.

If there is lots of air circulation around that area

Asbestos fibres or dust are at special risk of becoming airborne when there has been lots of air circulation in that area. For example, if there is asbestos in the walls of the home's attic, note if the attic is relatively sealed up and rarely visited, as this may keep any asbestos in that area intact. However, if you have a ventilation fan in the attic that circulates air through the house or have several ceiling fans on the floors just below the attic, this increases air circulation in that area. In this case, the asbestos, if present, may pose an even greater risk of becoming airborne.

If there has been construction work

Construction work in the home, on the property outside the home or even nearby can cause vibrations that might not seem severe to you but can easily shake loose any asbestos in the home. You may assume that dust in the attic or around plumbing pipes is from drywall or floorboards or other such materials, but it could be the result of asbestos being shaken loose and settling in the home. If there has been construction in or near your home, it's good to have such material tested for the presence of asbestos.