The best way to test for asbestos in the home is by hiring an asbestos professional to come in and take samples for analysis. Professionals know where to look and what to look for, and anything that may contain asbestos should be left alone by the homeowner, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Because asbestos was banned in 1977, anything in a home built after that date is probably asbestos-free. Today, asbestos is generally only found in old stove-top pads, in walls and floors around woodburning stoves, in roofing and siding shingle materials and, in older homes built between 1930 and 1950, in the insulation.
The CPSC recommends not disturbing any fixtures that may contain asbestos. The danger from asbestos only comes when homeowners disturb these products, sending asbestos fibers into the air, and no real harm comes to homeowners unless they breathe in asbestos fibers for extended periods of time, according to the CPSC.
If an asbestos-containing product is in ill-repair, it is best to have a professional come in to take care of repairing or replacing the product. An asbestos professional will remove everyone from the home and wear protective gear when making such repairs. Before hiring an asbestos professional, be sure to check his credentials and ask for references. A qualified professional should be trained and experienced in order to make the repairs as safe as possible.