Your Guide to Hiring an Asbestos Abatement Company
Hiring an asbestos abatement company, and not doing it yourself, is the wisest and safest decision when it comes to removing asbestos from any residential, commercial or public building. Asbestos abatement companies will properly test for the toxic mineral, follow strict regulations and processes, and carry the right abatement removal equipment to keep them, others and you safe from exposure.
Although asbestos isn’t banned in the U.S., its use is limited. However, asbestos-containing materials (ACM) still pose a danger to the public because they were common building products in homes, schools and other structures built before the 1980s.
Asbestos abatement involves the identification, removal, repair and encapsulation of materials or products in a structure to eliminate the threat of exposure to toxic asbestos fibers. It’s best handled by a professional asbestos abatement company.
Common Asbestos-Containing Materials in Buildings
Because asbestos doesn’t burn, it was used in many products to resist heat. The “miracle mineral” made these asbestos-containing materials valuable to the building industry.
Roof Shingles & Siding
Vermiculite Insulation, Ceiling Tiles & Coatings
Ceiling air vent and popcorn ceiling
Drywall & Cement Sheets
Plaster, Putties & Caulking
Electrical Switchboard Panels
Pipe & Duct Coverings
Thermal Boiler & Fireplace Insulations
Vinyl Floor Tiles
Why Is Asbestos Abatement Important?
If damaged asbestos-containing materials are not properly removed by an asbestos abatement company, they can endanger your life and the lives of others who come into contact with asbestos dust, fibers or raw asbestos materials.
Fast Facts About Asbestos
Inhaling or ingesting asbestos can lead to serious health issues such as mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis, pleural plaques and asbestos lung cancer.
About 3,000 people are diagnosed annually with mesothelioma in the U.S. An estimated 10,000 people die annually from some type of asbestos-related disease.
Microscopic asbestos fibers are .01 microns thick (18,000 times thinner than a human hair).
Steps to Take if You Suspect Asbestos Contamination
The most important first step is to not touch the suspicious materials. Let a professional asbestos abatement company handle the job.
Don’t Sweep, Vacuum or Dust Possible Asbestos Debris
Don’t Remove Suspicious Materials
Keep Children Out of Area
Limit Activities in the Area
Call a Licensed Asbestos Abatement Company
Asbestos Abatement Costs
Asbestos abatement is costly because of the federal regulations governing the process and protective measures taken to ensure the safety of asbestos abatement workers and the public.
Do Your Homework
Now that you understand some of the intricacies of asbestos, the danger it poses to you and others, the importance of properly removing it from a structure and the costs involved, you are better equipped to make the right decision.
Research asbestos abatement companies, ask for references and how they remove asbestos from properties. You, your loved ones and the general public will be far safer when the threat of asbestos exposure is properly eliminated
Tips for Hiring an Asbestos Abatement Company
Asbestos abatement companies are not all the same. Some specialize only in asbestos abatement, while others offer environmental services, demolition services and general contracting services that may include abatement.
Within the U.S., asbestos abatement regulations vary from state to state and city to city, some extend beyond the federal laws that require Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licensing.
Homeowners are not legally required to use a licensed asbestos abatement company, but it is strongly recommended.
Before hiring an asbestos abatement company, verify its qualifications. Find the one that best suits your needs
Class I asbestos work:
Activities involving the removal of asbestos used to prevent heat loss or gain, surfacing asbestos-containing materials and those suspected of containing asbestos.
Class II asbestos work:
Removal of nonthermal asbestos-containing materials such as wallboards, floor tiles and sheeting, roofing and siding shingles and construction mastics.
Class III asbestos work:
Repair and maintenance operations of any asbestos-containing materials that will likely be disturbed. This is the type most likely used for removing asbestos.
Workers are trained in:
Pre-Asbestos Abatement Activities
Work Area Preparation
Establishing Decontamination Units
Using Personal Protection (Respirator and Protective Clothing)
Worker Decontamination Procedures
Safety Considerations in Abatement Area
Proper Handling & Disposal of Asbestos Waste
Asbestos Abatement Process
Abatement begins with a certified asbestos inspector who takes samples of suspected asbestos. Samples are analyzed at a laboratory to determine extent of the problem. The asbestos removal can be complex and includes several site preparations.
Site Preparations for Asbestos Removal
Work area established
HVAC and electrical systems disabled.
New electrical system installed to power negative air pressure units that avoid contamination of air outside work area.
Decontamination enclosure systems installed.
Seal openings with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
Wet wipe or use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter on nonmovable objects to keep asbestos from becoming airborne.
Seal immobile items with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
Cover surface not getting abated with plastic sheeting.
Post warning signs that read: Danger, Asbestos, Cancer and Lung Disease Hazard, Authorized Personnel Only, Respirators and Protective Clothing Are Required in this Area.
Clean up using a HEPA vacuum.
Disposal requires asbestos-containing waste be sealed in leak-tight containers while still wet, then labeled clearly and taken to qualified landfills that have specific requirements for securing the waste and preventing fibers from escaping into the air.
Vehicles that transport the waste to the landfill have specific requirements and labeling instructions
Call 778 222 7767 to get more information hiring an asbestos abatement company.