Hazardous chemicals, lead and asbestos may be present in some water-damaged buildings. Be alert for hazardous materials and do not try to handle or remove them unless you are certified to deal with hazardous materials. Use qualified subcontractors to remove and dispose of hazardous materials.
Asbestos is a common hazardous material found in buildings. Old appliances may have asbestos in the wiring and insulation. Items such as stoves, ovens, toasters, hair dryers, irons and iron rests, fry pans, clothes dryers and even old TVs may have asbestos in them. Acoustical ceiling tiles, caulks, putty, wallboard, HVAC ducts, pipe insulation, gaskets, flame proofing materials, roofing felt and shingles, sprayed or blown insulation, siding cooling towers and flooring tiles are some construction materials that commonly contain asbestos. Nine-inch flooring tiles may still be found in many homes and buildings. Always treat a nine-inch flooring tile as if it contains asbestos, unless you can be certain it does not.
Asbestos was determined to be a hazard in the 1960s, but was commonly used in construction materials until 1972. Older homes and structures may still have asbestos-containing material. When asbestos is found, do not disturb it. If demolition is required, use a qualified asbestos abatement contractor to perform the asbestos remediation.