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. Save on pricy asbestos abatement with our RetroWAL Interior Curtainwall System, a solution which seals the window seams that cause asbestos-containing caulk to travel.
Benefits of choosing to seal windows rather than remove caulk:
- DIY system is quick and easy to install
- Much less expensive than remediation
- No need to clear area/less downtime
- No risk of contaminating air that occurs with manual caulk removal
What are some other “silent” safety issues you’ve run into when repairing or renovating old buildings? Leave a comment below.
The Thermolite engineering staff is an innovative structural, energy modelling, and implementation team that works to create unique window systems alternatives to traditional replacement windows. Our systems protect against blasts, hurricanes, and sound, while being energy efficient and quick and easy to install. We serve a wide range of industry buildings including government, military, historical, schools and universities, financial, health care, hospitality, and offices. Contact us today to learn how we could update your building’s window systems.
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