As climate patterns change, there is more and more evidence that water damage in Toronto will become an increasingly frequent problem for property owners throughout the city and Southern Ontario. And while water damage brings its own inherent problems, such as property damage, mold infestations, and electrical damage, when a leak, backup, or flood occurs in an older property in the city, it may put people at risk of asbestos exposure. With the more imminent threat of water damage in Toronto, property owners throughout the city and across Canada must understand how to safely approach flood restoration and asbestos removal in Toronto.
Canada’s Track Record with Asbestos
While asbestos is not used anymore in manufacturing or construction in Canada due to a series of federal bans, the mineral is still found in some of the city’s older buildings. In fact, Canada’s history with asbestos was not as long ago as many people think. The mineral was used heavily in the mid to late 20th century and could still be found in homes, commercial, and public properties built as late as the 1990s. Since then, asbestos removal in Toronto has been a continued effort, but there are still thousands of properties that may still be contaminated.
The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure & Water Damage in Toronto
In a sealed or non-friable state, asbestos isn’t much of a risk, but as it deteriorates over time or in a loose-fill application, the slightest contact with the mineral can send its fibres into the air. When water damage occurs, be it from basement flooding, pipe bursts, leaks, or even appliance installation errors, contact with water can trigger airborne asbestos fibres. Even when those fibres are not affected by the initial water damage incident, the restoration process may spell trouble if not handled by trained professionals.
Asbestos was used in loose-fill insulation, drywall, popcorn ceilings, pipe & duct wrap insulation, floor tiles, and many other building materials. As those materials are interacted with during reconstruction and repairs, simple actions such as cutting, sawing, touching, hammering, or wetting can send decaying fibres into the air. Once airborne, these small fibres divide rapidly into small particles easily ingested or inhaled by nearby people and animals, scarring lungs and internal tissues. Repeat or excessive asbestos exposure has been connected to chronic illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. You may need to have a CT lung screening to see if you are developing these illnesses.
Avoiding Asbestos During Water Damage Cleanup
The best way to avoid exposure to asbestos during water damage cleanup is to conduct inspections and asbestos removal in Toronto before you experience water damage in the first place. Preventative asbestos abatement will identify the source of contamination and eliminate it before unexpected water damage puts you and the others around you at risk.
Once water damage occurs, you can still manage asbestos removal safely. If you suspect that your property may have asbestos-containing materials, leave the premises until the problem is addressed by a professional restoration company in Toronto. Instead of taking water damage in Toronto into your own hands, a leading remediation company certified in asbestos removal, such as Canada’s Restoration Services. Trained and experienced teams will have the tools, equipment, and industry experience to navigate the cleanup process with safety as a priority.