As more research is done on environmental hazards, renovating older buildings is no longer a labor of love that can be done leisurely or a project that can be put on hold until there’s extra room in the budget. When it comes to dangerous materials in old buildings, caulk, the paste-like product used as a sealant in buildings, doesn’t necessarily come to mind; however, it’s one of the hidden sources of asbestos lurking in old buildings.
A notable fact, courtesy of the EPA: buildings constructed or renovated from 1950 through 1979 are likely to contain up to 25% asbestos in old caulk in windows or doors. Leaving old caulk in place with no modifications is simply not a safe option. As caulk dries, it crumbles and the particles potentially containing asbestos become airborne due to cracks in window seams. Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of conditions such as mesothelioma, respiratory diseases, and lung cancer.
Removing and replacing caulk in older buildings is no longer just a messy and expensive job, but a dangerous one if proper safety precautions are not taken. Continue reading here.