Asbestos is not a substance that people like to find in their home; the material is very dangerous and even downright deadly in certain circumstances. Inhaling the fibers of asbestos has been linked to many different lung diseases and even certain forms of cancer, so it's only natural that a homeowner would be concerned with whether or not the material should be left alone or removed. If you're faced with this question, note a few factors that can make it easier for you to decide, and then discuss your options with an asbestos contractor if necessary.
1. Where is the asbestos located?
If you've found asbestos lining plumbing pipes that are behind walls or under the floorboards, what are the chances that anyone in your home will come into contact with that asbestos? If you close up the walls and floors properly after making repairs, the asbestos will probably be well-contained.
However, if it's in the attic and not behind any walls or under floorboards, you would risk breathing in fibers every time you went into the attic. Note the credible risk of someone actually coming into contact with the asbestos fibers because that's the only time it's dangerous, not when it's contained properly behind walls or under floors.
2. Might the asbestos come loose from remodeling, repairs, or other future plans?
If asbestos is used as an insulator around plumbing pipes, it might be fine to be left alone if the pipes are in good repair and you don't imagine having to replace them anytime soon. However, asbestos might come loose if you decide to install new flooring or renovate your home in any way. Even if you don't work near the asbestos, vibrations can shake it loose and cause it to become airborne. You might also note if it would be difficult to find a contractor to work on your home if there is asbestos present; if you don't remove the material, you may find that your options for hiring workers are slim, if you can find them at all.
3. Does it affect your homeowner's insurance?
You may hesitate to have asbestos removed because of the expense, but consider the increased cost of your homeowner's insurance and if the asbestos lowers your home value at all. These can have real financial impact on you; if your home value is lowered, you may not have as much equity in the home as you imagined. You might not qualify for a home equity loan or may struggle to sell the home sometime down the road. Balance the cost of asbestos removal with these other financial considerations when making your decision.
If you decide you want to get the asbestos out of your house now, contact a local asbestos removal company to take care of it for you.