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Health Canada provides the following recommendations for homeowners who may have asbestos in their house:

"You can reduce your risk of exposure by hiring a professional to test for asbestos before doing any:

  • renovations or remodelling
  • demolitions
  • additions

If asbestos is found, hire a qualified asbestos removal specialist to get rid of it before beginning work. Avoid disturbing asbestos materials yourself. This increases the risk to your health and your family's health. Check with your provincial and territorial workplace safety authorities to find out the qualifications or certifications needed in your area.

If you have vermiculite-based insulation in your attic, it may contain asbestos. To avoid exposure to asbestos fibres, do not disturb vermiculite-based attic insulation in any way or attempt to remove it yourself. Make sure:

  • children are not allowed in the attic
  • the attic is not used for storage or any other use
  • professionals that are trained to handle asbestos are hired if you plan to remodel or renovate
  • all cracks and holes in the ceiling of the rooms below the insulation are sealed
  • caulking around light fixtures and the attic hatch is applied to prevent insulation from falling through

If you have vermiculite-based insulation in your attic, some may have fallen inside your walls over time. Therefore, you should seal cracks and holes with caulking around:

  • window and door frames
  • along baseboards
  • around electrical outlets"

From: Health risks of asbestos, Government of Canada

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