Asbestos is a mineral fiber that can be dangerous to individuals if inhaled. It is known to cause varieties of lung cancer, and can be extremely hazardous if not handled or disposed of properly. In older homes, asbestos might be found in flooring, shingles, furnaces, and pipes. If you believe your home might contain asbestos, do not attempt to remove any potential asbestos-containing materials yourself. If these materials are located in a closed-off location, and appear to be in good condition, the best solution is to simply leave the materials alone. If not frequently touched or irritated, there is no cause to worry; however, make sure to keep an eye on these materials. In the case they do become damaged, do not attempt to rectify the issue yourself. Hire a trained professional. They know the proper methods in which to rid the asbestos from your home, and can generally be found in your local phone directory.
If you do buy an older home and wish to renovate it, make sure to test for asbestos first. Take extra precaution to not stir dust when in supposed infected area, but wet the intended area to remove (using gloves, of course) and place it in a safe container. You can actually send the sample to an asbestos-testing site. If the results return positive, again, make sure to hire a specialist to remove the asbestos for you. Asbestos was used for construction and manufacturing in homes prior to 1985. If purchasing a home that dates after that year, your purchase will definitely be asbestos-free; however, there is no guarantee for homes dated prior to 1985.