Asbestos testing in Vancouver and lower mainland with progressive environmental asbestos solutions

How Do You Test for Asbestos?

For many years, asbestos was widely in the building industry. This naturally occurring fibrous material was valued for both its strength and resistance to heat and was used in flooring, insulation, ductwork, and more. Unfortunately, it was ultimately found to be a substantial health risk if its fibres became loose and airborne.  Now, if you are renovating or changing an older building, you need to test for asbestos to ensure all your workers and anyone on site is safe.

Inhaling asbestos dust does not cause pain, but can cause scarring in the lungs, as well as mesothelioma, a type of cancer that causes the victim to essentially suffocate to death. Decades may pass between exposure and diagnosis, meaning that those exposed to asbestos years ago may yet see health issues in the future.

Many homes built prior to 1980 contain asbestos, representing tens of thousands of buildings across the country. Asbestos testing is important for your health and safety, particularly if you intend to do any renovations that might damage or disturb the material.

How to Test For Asbestos

Visually inspecting your home is unfortunately not a reliable means of detecting asbestos. Any suspected asbestos fibres will need to be tested with special equipment. Samples can be sent to a certified lab where a proper analysis can be made but taking samples yourself is not a wise choice as it may prove hazardous to your health. It is recommended to have a professional collect the material to minimize exposure for you and your family.

While asbestos itself cannot be found just by looking, if you have an older home it is worth looking for signs that construction materials are beginning to degrade. Watch for cracks and dusty areas anywhere that materials seem to be falling apart. You can inspect the following for signs of damage and degradation:
• Pipes
• Walls
• Tiles
• Vinyl Flooring
• Stovetop Pads
• Insulation (around pipes, for example)

How to Proceed with Asbestos Testing

If you decide to have a sample taken for testing, be aware that this can disturb the material and create a hazardous situation. To prepare your home before having a certified contractor perform the test, stop all air conditioning and ventilation systems that could circulate the asbestos in the air. Additionally, close off the area where the sample is being collected, and ideally, have everyone leave the house during the procedure.

If Asbestos is Found

Removal of asbestos from your home requires different methods, depending on the condition of the material, where it is located, and whether it is friable or non-friable. Friable asbestos crumbles easily and can become airborne, whereas non-friable asbestos is bound with other materials and tends not to become airborne as easily.

Materials that contain asbestos are occasionally repaired and/or isolated rather than removed (Asbestos Abatement), but if you are doing a renovation or similar work, often the only true, permanent solution is to have it removed by a professional certified in asbestos work.

With asbestos killing as many as 2,000 Canadians each year, being aware of its presence in your home is crucial, especially when it begins to show signs of breaking down.

To have asbestos removed from your home or if you need asbestos testing on suspect material, Call Progressive Environmental today so that you can get back to enjoying your home safely.

Commercial Asbestos abatement project

Things to Know About Commercial Asbestos Abatement

Many commercial buildings contain asbestos. So, if you are planning a remodeling, demolition, or deconstruction project, an effective commercial asbestos abatement plan is a must to protect the health and safety of you and your employees. Exposure to disturbed asbestos-containing materials can cause work-related diseases and even death.

Fortunately for commercial property owners, there is a way to responsibly manage asbestos and mitigate the risk of exposure. Here are some important things to know about commercial asbestos abatement.

Commercial Asbestos Abatement or Removal – Which do I need?

Asbestos abatement means that Asbestos in your building is sealed off so that particles can no longer reach people. It is often the more inexpensive option but eventually will have costs when the building is deconstructed or demolished, or more extensive renovations are made.  Asbestos Removal is the complete removal and disposal of asbestos from the property.  Done right, it will ensure that the building is safe for its lifetime and you can undertake the next renovation without worrying about asbestos.  With proper testing, an Asbestos Removal professional can discuss the options with you with an understanding of your long term plans for the property, budget, and the scope of the renovations or changes you want to make.

What is commercial asbestos abatement?

If the asbestos-containing material is not damaged or broken, an abatement option is a safe and effective way to prevent particles from becoming airborne. Asbestos abatement is a highly regulated and specialized procedure performed by professional technicians. The process involves encasing or sealing off the affected areas of the property. Properly enclosed, asbestos particles will not be released into the air where they can be breathed in and cause harm to the occupants.

Professional Asbestos Testing is Required

Professional testing will need to be performed to determine if your commercial property contains asbestos. Identifying asbestos should only be conducted by a licensed inspector. Only an asbestos abatement professional has the training and protective gear to safely manage asbestos-containing material.

Certified technicians will thoroughly inspect your commercial building, performing air sampling, and collecting samples for analysis. Once the contractor assesses the asbestos risks in your property, they will provide you with a detailed analysis of the hazards and choose the most effective plan to manage the issue.

Locations where asbestos can be found in your commercial property

When it comes to commercial asbestos abatement, there are a wide variety of areas where this hazardous material may be lurking. A team of experienced contractors will scour your building looking for any traces of asbestos. Possible sources of asbestos in your commercial property include:

  • Wall insulation
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Hot water pipe insulation
  • Furnace insulation
  • Textured paint and patching compounds
  • Door and gasket coverings
  • Outlets and switches

Even with newly built properties, asbestos is still being found in some construction materials. Before you begin any remodeling or deconstruction projects, make sure to have your commercial building inspected by a certified and licensed asbestos abatement professional. You will not only protect your employees but also ensure you stay compliant with laws and regulations.

Searching for commercial asbestos abatement, but not sure where to start? Selecting the right contractor for your commercial property can be a challenge. With so much riding on the safety of your crew and the success of your project, you will need to choose a company that best suits your needs and your budget. That’s where Progressive Environmental comes in.

We provide the most thorough and effective commercial asbestos abatement services in the industry. If you are undergoing a remodeling, demolition, or deconstruction project, contact Progressive Environmental today.

Home Office Reno Demolition

Your New Home Office – What you Need to Know Before You Demo For The Reno

With advances in technologies and social distancing requirements, working from home is quickly becoming the new normal.  Remote working offers up a slew of benefits – less stress, increased morale, and improved family and personal life.  And with new government and employer incentive programs available to renovate or upgrade a home office, making the switch has never been easier – and more enticing.

Planning a new home office project? Don’t forget about asbestos. Here’s what you need to know about the demolition or deconstruction and reno process.

Why asbestos testing and abatement is crucial

Asbestos is exceedingly dangerous, and it needs to be taken seriously. Before you begin any demolition or renovation project, asbestos testing should always be your top priority.
Knocking down drywall, ripping up tiles, and removing insulation can release asbestos into the air. If inhaled, this naturally occurring fibrous material can cause serious health risks like lung damage and cancer. Without the proper steps to mitigate the risks, workers, you, and your family could be exposed to asbestos.

Working with asbestos should always be left to the professionals. They have the proper training, protective gear, and years of experience in asbestos identification and disposal to keep everyone safe on your project.

Hiring a qualified asbestos specialist will ensure careful testing and removal of dangerous material, ensuring your home office venture gets done on time and on budget, safely.

How do asbestos testing and removal work?

Asbestos testing is an intricate and meticulous process, requiring the skills and attention to detail that only certified professionals can provide. Painstaking care goes into every inspection to ensure your home office upgrade is as safe as possible. Asbestos removal experts thoroughly examine your demolition or renovation area, searching underneath floorboards, inside the walls, and above ceiling tiles.

While some asbestos may be hiding in plain sight, often, it is mixed with other materials, making it a challenge to detect. A qualified asbestos testing technician will determine which materials in your home contain may asbestos. Once they locate and collect samples of the potentially affected material, they will send it off to an accredited laboratory for testing. If you indeed have asbestos, they will work with you to create a customized removal or management (abatement) plan to meet your specific needs.  If you are taking safe materials to a landfill, proper testing documents and certifications can allow you to dispose of materails at a lower cost.

Planning a demolition or renovation endeavour for your home office, but not sure where to start? Every safe and successful project begins with asbestos testing. With so many asbestos removal businesses out there, you will need to find the right one that best suits your needs and budget. That’s where Progressive Environmental comes in.
Our commitment has always been to provide you with effective, affordable, and timely asbestos testing, abatement, and removal services.

If you are in the Metro Vancouver area,  Before you start that home office project you’ve been dreaming about, contact Progressive Environmental for complete Asbestos Testing so that you can proceed with confidence.

Asbestos Abatement vs. Asbestos Remediation examples

Asbestos Abatement vs Asbestos Remediation

Are you facing an asbestos problem in your home or business? Or undertaking a renovation where building materials containing Asbestos have been used in the past? If so, you will need to deal with it as quickly and appropriately as possible. You have probably heard the terms Asbestos Abatement & Asbestos Remediation – what is the difference and which is best for you?

Exposure to Asbestos has been linked to cancer and a host of other health problems.  Managing dangerous building materials is an involved process, requiring the specialized knowledge and training of a professional asbestos removal company. When it comes to dealing with Asbestos, it will typically come down to two options – asbestos abatement and asbestos remediation.

Because remediation and abatement terms are often used interchangeably, it can be a challenge to get a handle on what sets them apart. To help clear up any confusion, let’s take a closer look at these different removal methods.

What is asbestos remediation?

Asbestos remediation involves completely removing the hazardous material from the building structure. Before the process begins, a professional asbestos removal team will ask occupants to leave the building so they can then seal off the site.  Wearing full-body protection and respirator masks, removal specialists will get rid of asbestos using specially designed vacuums. Once all the hazardous material has been collected, the asbestos will be taken to approved landfills for safe and proper disposal.

What is asbestos abatement?

Asbestos abatement means mitigating the risks of the hazardous material from becoming airborne. Left on its own, asbestos isn’t harmful. But once it is disturbed, fibres can be released into the air where they can be breathed in, causing potential health risks.  While this process can include remediation, abatement often refers to encasing or encapsulating the asbestos, sealing off the hazardous material and protecting the property from asbestos fibre exposure.

Which asbestos treatment should I choose?

When it comes to the best asbestos treatment – Asbestos Abatement vs Asbestos Remediation – it will come down to several factors: the type of asbestos on your property, the condition of the asbestos, and the location of the asbestos. If the asbestos is in an area where it won’t be disturbed and poses no threat, abatement might be the safer choice.

But when the condition of the asbestos has been compromised, complete removal of the hazardous material will be required. Also, if asbestos has spread to other locations of the property, remediation will be the optimal choice.

Whatever your asbestos issues might be, it is always a smart idea to consult with a professional asbestos removal provider. They will conduct a thorough inspection and testing to determine which option is right for you.

Whether you are planning a minor remodelling project or a major deconstruction job, discussing the asbestos treatment options with an expert is a good first step.

For comprehensive asbestos abatement and asbestos remediation services in the Lower Mainland, contact Progressive Environmental Asbestos Solutions today!

Asbestos Disposal Vancouver

How to Dispose of Asbestos In Vancouver

If you have asbestos to remove and dispose of, it may be more involved than you think. The city of Vancouver has an asbestos policy that must be followed. Municipalities within Metro Vancouver can dispose of their asbestos waste at the Vancouver Landfill in Delta, provided the waste is prepared in accordance with the city’s policy. The Transfer Station will refuse any and all asbestos waste.

Where Can Asbestos be Found?

Asbestos has been used in a variety of materials, particularly where noise or heat insulation is required. Some products that make use of asbestos include:

  • Adhesives such as roofing sealant, furnace cement, glue for flooring, ceiling tiles
  • Electrical components such as wire insulation and cable wrap
  • Fireproofing, including firefighter gear, paint, and spray-on fireproofing
  • Insulation. This includes loose-fill insulation, block insulation, and blown-in insulation

In order to dispose of blown-in insulation, you are required to have the original packaging so you can demonstrate that it does not contain asbestos. Alternately, you may provide a certificate of analysis from an accredited laboratory, obtained within the past 30 days, indicating that the material is free of asbestos.

Landfills will not accept used drywall from businesses or contractors but will accept a limited amount from residents who have removed it from their homes and transported it to the landfill.

More information can be found on the drywall webpage.

Testing for Asbestos in Vancouver: If you need to test for asbestos, you may do so by contacting an accredited laboratory or company such as Progressive Environmental.

Why You Should Test for Asbestos

Testing for asbestos can save you money at the landfill. While the test may cost between $25 and $100, depending on how quickly you need the results, a certificate of analysis showing that the material is free of asbestos allows you to dispose of it as garbage, which is considerably cheaper than what you would pay for the burial of asbestos.  Once you test, you can decide whether Asbestos Removal or Asbestos Abatement (safely sealing the asbestos in place)

The Certificate of Analysis

As mentioned above, the certificate must be obtained from an accredited laboratory within the past 30 days. It must also include all the following:

  • Contact information
  • The name of the analyst
  • The name of the client
  • Sample ID
  • Asbestos type
  • Asbestos amount
  • Method of analysis

If the analysis indicates that the material is asbestos-free, prepare it and dispose of it at the landfill within 30 days of the test. You must have the results with you when you arrive at the landfill.
Should the test indicate the presence of asbestos, prepare it accordingly. Asbestos disposal fees are applicable.

Asbestos Fees and Drop Off Schedule

The means of preparation, fee amounts, and drop off schedules vary depending on whether the asbestos waste is commercial or residential.

Given the regulations for the preparation and disposal of asbestos waste, as well as the dangers associated with exposure to the material, the quickest, easiest, and safest way to dispose of your asbestos waste is to contact a professional. This will ensure that things are done correctly, according to regulations, and without exposing yourself to danger.

When you have to dispose of or undertake asbestos removal in Vancouver, contact Progressive Environmental and leave the rest to us!

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals. It is exceptionally durable but dangerous. Formed of thin, needle-like fibres, asbestos can cause several diseases and cancers, including asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Being strong and resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals, asbestos has been used in several products. As of December 30, 2018, a ban with exceptions has been in effect in Canada. WorkSafeBC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation consider any material containing asbestos fibres totalling 0.5% or more by weight at the time of manufacture (or any other time, determined by analysis) to be an asbestos-containing material.
All such materials are to be handled with caution during disposal, with professional disposal services being highly advisable.

Covid 19 Asbestos Removal &Demolition

Progressive Environmental & COVID19

Yes, Progressive Environmental is still operating during the current situation. In fact, some clients are finding that with all the staff out of the office, it is the perfect time to get some demolition or Asbestos Removal work done faster, more efficiently, and with less staff impact than it normally would.

PPE is mandatory for our industry all the time ( including in P100 masks that are more secure than N95 masks)  so we are 100% equipped to keep ourselves safe while working in any location. The masks and PPE we use are different from what would be used by frontline workers, so we are not impacting their precious supplies, and they are not what would be recommended for an outing to the grocery store.

Progressive Environmental can put together a “socially separated” quote for you from pictures or a careful visit.

Quite a few businesses and commercial property managers are realizing this is a perfect time to complete a demolition or asbestos abatement project on a commercial or institutional space or without having to shut down while their competitors are working. With staff working from home, we can complete the needed work with less disruption to you, your business, and your staff than we would be able to while we are working around your workdays or while some staff was still working.  Often work can be completed faster and more cost-effectively.

If you would like to discuss how we can put together a quote for your demolition or asbestos removal project, please don’t hesitate to give Progressive Environmental a call to discuss how we can work together.

High Risk Asbestos removal in Vancouver

What Is High-Risk Asbestos Abatement?

Do you have a demolition, de-construction, or renovation project in the works? With many buildings in BC, your structure may contain asbestos. Left alone, asbestos fibres pose no health hazard. If, however, it gets damaged, the building material can aerosolize, exposing occupants or workers to potential health risks.  While all demolition projects have some risk, due to the placement and composition, some projects are classified as high-risk asbestos abatement.

Asbestos airborne particulates have been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma—serious diseases caused by working around this toxic material. So, if you are planning on doing any renovation or remodelling work on a building and suspect it has asbestos, have it tested and remediated by a professional to mitigate the risks of exposure.

Here is what you need to know about high-risk asbestos abatement.

According to Worksafe BC: high-risk work activity means a work activity that involves working with or in proximity to asbestos-containing material if a high level of control is necessary in respect of that activity to prevent exposure of a worker to airborne asbestos fibre. In contrast, working in proximity to asbestos where the asbestos-containing material is not being cut, sanded, drilled, broken down, or otherwise disturbed in a way that will release airborne asbestos fibres can be classified as low risk.

Which common building materials contain asbestos?

Asbestos has been used in a wide variety of building materials in the past, including ceiling and floor tiles, cement siding, millboard, insulation, shingles, and popcorn ceiling texture, to name only a few. If your building has been built before 1990, there is a good chance it contains at least some asbestos.

What are some examples of high-risk asbestos abatement?

Working with or around asbestos can create major health risks if it has been compromised or is friable (easily crumbled). Once airborne, inhaling dust or fibres can wreak havoc on lungs and digestive tracts. There are several factors that can boost the friability of asbestos-containing particulates.

Destruction and deterioration will increase the possibility of airborne asbestos-containing particles. Water damage and ageing can also contribute to the degradation of asbestos-containing materials. What’s more, physical activities like drilling, cutting, sawing, or hammering can cause airborne activity.

Whether it be for remodelling, repair, demolition, or dismantling project, removing any asbestos-containing items in building structures can release contaminated fragments into the air. Examples of these materials include air-handling equipment, vermiculite insulation, ceilings, and walls.

Fixing, modifying, or disassembling furnaces, boilers, kilns, or other similar systems are also high-risk activities that can cause exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

Does your project require you to work around asbestos-containing material? Knowing the high-risk activities involved will help you stay safe during your remodelling or deconstruction project.

How to lower the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos material?

Working with any asbestos-containing products can be extremely dangerous, especially if the material is compromised. Only a fully trained professional with the appropriate certification can properly evaluate and abate or remove asbestos.

No amount of asbestos is safe. If you are undergoing a project that may require high-risk asbestos abatement, ensure you, your workers, and your loved ones are protected by using asbestos abatement specialists. They will not only test the materials in your building but also create a customized plan for complete asbestos removal.

For all your asbestos abatement needs, contact Progressive Environmental.

Asbestos Testing Kit Thoughts

Things to consider before you use a DIY/Home Asbestos Testing Kit.

Asbestos was used in over 3,000 building products from the 1950’s until it began to be phased out in the 1980s. It has excellent fire suppression qualities, which may have saved a few lives, but unfortunately, it was found that the fibres also lead to serious health issues. In fact, Asbestos is one of the top killers of workers in Canada. We are sometimes asked whether a home asbestos testing kit is a good idea.

Here are our thoughts, based on years of experience removing asbestos from residential, commercial, and industrial spaces.

1) Asbestos is serious stuff. It is one of the top causes of death for workers in Canada, and this number has been increasing. In 2016, over 500 Canadians died from Mesothelioma.

2) Certified Asbestos Inspectors get a full week of intensive training and testing before they are certified. They learn where Asbestos could be, how to properly extract samples, and most importantly, how to keep themselves safe while doing it.

3) Asbestos may be in materials you do not check. You may miss possible sources of Asbestos. When asbestos was used as a fire retardant, it was often selectively used only in certain materials, such as drywall mud, or tapes. Just because some building materials are free and clear, it does not mean they all are.

4) Complications from Asbestos may not show up for years. Complications from Asbestos exposure, including Asbestosis, Mesothelioma, and Lung Cancer can take years to show up. Just because your neighbour with the same house removed insulation from his attic last year and seems fine now is no reason to conclude that you would be safe if you did the same.

5) Testing documents from a certified lab will allow you to dispose of materials at a much less expensive rate. Landfills and Disposal sites, if they take building materials that may contain asbestos, will charge you much less if you can provide documentation from a certified asbestos testing lab that the materials are free of asbestos.

6) Professional Asbestos Testing is not as expensive as you may think. Thorough testing of any materials in your home that may be impacted by demolition or renovations will likely cost only a few hundred dollars. This is a small price to pay as part of a renovation that could cost thousands to ensure the workers on your site are 100% safe.

7) Your best option may be to cap and not disturb the asbestos. Asbestos fibres are only a problem when they float in the air and can get into your lungs. A qualified hazardous material company can help you understand the options when they know exactly where the asbestos is present.

8) Improper treatment of Asbestos containing materials can incur heavy fines from WorkSafeBC. As a top cause of death for workers in BC & Canada, WorkSafeBC BC has put a heavy focus on putting together safe treatment plans and regulations for companies that are working in spaces where Asbestos could be present.

You may be able to get an asbestos testing kit at your local hardware or home building supply store and try and complete your own tests. However, working with a certified asbestos testing company can give you the documentation you need, and peace of mind when you know your family and those working on your home renovation or in your commercial building are safe from a real health threat that leads to tragic consequences for hundreds of Canadians every year.  A company that is qualified to deal with asbestos will also be able to tell you whether Asbestos Abatement or Asbestos Removal are the best options for your situation.

At Progressive Environmental Solutions, we are certified to collect samples for Asbestos Testing, and we work with certified labs to ensure you get the documentation and the plans you need. Feel free to call us to discuss your renovation or deconstruction project and how we can keep your family and contractors safe.

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