Home Biotesting

How to Tell if Plaster Has Asbestos

Asbestos, a toxic fibrous mineral, was once widely used in construction and building materials. It was hailed as a miracle mineral due to the incredible fire resistance, heat resistance, and insulation qualities it possessed. Plaster is one of the countless materials that was often mixed with asbestos to increase fire retardant qualities. Despite being so widespread, however, identifying asbestos’s presence can be exceedingly difficult. 

Many property owners find themselves asking how to tell if the plaster has asbestos. This can be a very tricky question. We’re going to explore this question in-depth, looking at the key signs and indications of potential asbestos in plaster, as well as the importance of professional asbestos testing and abatement.

Recognizing Potential Asbestos in Plaster

Asbestos was commonly used in plaster for about 80 years, from the turn of the 20th century until the 1980s. This means if your home or business was constructed before 1980, there is a good chance that asbestos could be present. That said, age alone isn’t an effective predictor of how to tell if the plaster has asbestos, so here are a few more things to look for.

Visual inspection is a start, but unfortunately asbestos isn’t visible to the naked eye. Instead, look for signs of aging plaster, like flaking or cracking, which might give clues to the material inside. This can also indicate that the material is deteriorating and may pose a danger to those nearby. However, even perfectly intact plaster can have asbestos in it, so looking for damage still isn’t a reliable predictor, either. 

The Importance of Testing for Asbestos in Plaster

With no sure way to tell, visually, if plaster contains asbestos, there is no reliable way to tell one way or the other, by yourself. This is why it’s critically important to work with an experienced asbestos testing and abatement company, like Home Biotesting. Our professionals are experts in asbestos testing, and use some of the safest, industry-leading testing procedures to collect samples with minimal disruption. 

Asbestos Testing Procedures: What to Expect

When you partner with Home Biotesting, you’ll see that we adhere to strict safety guidelines while obtaining samples of your plaster. We ensure minimal disruption and immediate containment of any potential airborne asbestos. The samples are then analyzed in a lab with various methods to obtain the detailed results we’ll need to confirm or deny the presence of asbestos. 

The Perils of Asbestos and the Need for Professional Intervention

Asbestos exposure can cause severe, even deadly health issues. The biggest problem, however, is that many of the conditions can take 20, 30, or even 40 years or more to manifest. This incredibly long latency is one of the reasons it’s so important to make sure your asbestos issues are professionally handled. You may not know that you used a low-quality company until a generation later when asbestosis, mesothelioma, or other chest and abdominal cancers are setting in.

Don’t Take Chances, Get Professional Help From Home Biotesting

Identifying asbestos positively is one thing, but abatement is another, and neither should be done by anyone but a professional. As you can see, the problem of how to tell if plaster has asbestos does not have an easy solution, other than professional input. Your safety and the health of those occupying your property are too important to leave to chance. 
If you suspect there may be asbestos in your plaster, the first thing you should do is reach out to Home Biotesting. Our team of local professionals is eager to provide accurate testing, and when needed, thorough abatement measures that leave your property clean so you have peace of mind going forward. Contact Home Biotesting today for more information, or to get started.