Asbestos and DIY Home Improvements

October 25, 2016

Are you Addicted to home improvement shows?


Many of us are just in love with HGTV’s various home remodeling shows. You might be familiar with Flip or Flop, where we recognize many OC or LA neighborhoods; or the show Property Brothers : Buying & Selling, or Beachfront Bargain Hunt and many others. 

But one show tops them all - Fixer Upper !


The dynamic husband-and-wife host team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV's Fixer Upper have become something like family friends to so many Americans . Even thought they only renovate homes in Waco, Texas, their down-to-earth and fun personalities have gotten the best of us all. America is bewitched by their charm… And now you can actually read about how this high power house flipping husband & wife team started out! 


Their newly released book “The Magnolia Story” tells you all. From how they've met, to their first projects, to becoming HGTV’s Home Remodeling darlings. 


Do it yourself - It just seems so easy!


Don’t we all so readily get into that “it’s so easy”-mindset watching these home remolding shows? Just get the hammer and knock the ‘damn’ wall down! 


I cringe when I watch my wife and our 13-year-old son enthusiastically witness how bathtubs and tiles are ferociously ripped out to make space for beautifully modern looking amenities, or when a structural wall is just hammered in. Especially if the home being remodeled was built before the 1970’s, the red flags just pop up inside my head!


And I wonder: "Has anybody thought of asbestos or lead paint?" or "Has an inspector already come by, tested the materials and given the green light to go ahead?"

We don’t know, because this is rarely discussed on any of these DIY shows. But when it comes to home remodeling, what you don’t know can cost you dearly!  


Asbestos exposure in particular can be very harmful. 


Even though federal asbestos exposure limits were imposed in 1972 and the cutoff year for asbestos testing is 1978, it is still very easy for us to be exposed to it! 


In fact, home renovations and being on construction sites potentially heightens our exposure risk since many common building materials hold asbestos. Every time you disturb the surface of a material containing asbestos you are freeing microscopic fibers into the air. This can happen by drilling, sanding or cutting into the materials, which is exactly what you would do when renovating an older house, right? These hazardous airborne fibers can stay in the air for hours and put anyone nearby into the danger of being contaminated through their respiratory passages or other soft tissue!


“Each year, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure. About 2,000 to 3,200 people die from asbestos-related lung cancer annually. An estimated 200,000 people in the U.S. currently are living with asbestosis, an inflammatory lung condition caused by inhaling asbestos. Many other cancers and serious conditions have been linked to exposure. “ (


To keep asbestos contamination in check a proper abatement procedure needs to be put in place according to federal safety regulations.


Unfortunately asbestos is still taken very lightly sometimes, even in schools! According to information on the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach was getting in trouble and sued over removing asbestos material in several district schools unsafely only just in 2014!


To find out where else exposure can occur, please visit the very informative website of


But that’s not all!


Asbestos is just one of the perils you encounter when remodeling your home, but there are a few more to consider. What about mold, sewer contamination and lead paint for example? These are all possible exposure scenarios with unexpected complications that could occur with an uncontrolled demolition process. 


As remediation and construction professionals we have to deal with these kind of real-life challenges all the time when on a construction site. Something that the normal property owner is unlikely to be well informed on or prepared to deal with. This is where we can assist you!  


So keep enjoying these fun home remodeling shows on TV and take away some great ideas for your home or flipping house project; but please take into consideration the risks you assume when having your house renovated! 


The liability ultimately lies with you, the property owner, whether you do your project right, or not…


Please contact us at 949-631 1001 or 714-641 6600 if you have any questions or need an estimate.  You can also Book your appointment online or Ask Us any question that’s on your mind.


Best wishes,


Cenmar Fuertes

President & General Manager

Sparkle Restoration Services, Inc


Further Readings on that topic:

Many People Still ignore dangers of Asbestos on








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