Asbestos Identification

If you are unsure as to whether asbestos is in your home, contact us to determine
if any harmful materials are present. The Environmental Protection Agency can
provide assistance and information on asbestos abatement and the regulations
involved. If our inspector determines that a removal is needed, we are a fully
licensed, abatement contractor trained in handling dangerous substances. This
process requires professional care and protective equipment. Once the
process is complete, replacement options should be considered.

Rationale for Removal

Construction products in good condition will not release asbestos particles into the
air. Hard products such as vinyl floor tile and cement shingles contain binders that
completely encapsulate the asbestos for added protection. Asbestos in soft
products such as pipe insulation may be completely sealed within a canvas or steel
jacket. Walls, ceilings and floors may also act as barriers that separate occupied
building areas from asbestos products found in mechanical rooms, crawl spaces
and attics.

Depending on how and where asbestos was applied, it might not pose any risk to most users of the building. If the fibers cannot become dislodged, they cannot be inhaled, and thus the asbestos poses no risk. However, some methods of applying asbestos, particularly flocking, allow asbestos fibers to gradually drop off into the air. Asbestos poses hazards to maintenance personnel who have to drill holes in walls for installation of cables or pipes.

Even if the workers are protected, such maintenance operation may release fibers into the air, which may be inhaled by others. Interventions in areas where asbestos is present often have to follow stringent procedures. When asbestos fibers can easily be made into airborne dust, the material is known as friable. For example, a "popcorn ceiling" is extremely friable, whereas asbestos floor tile is considered non-friable.

Asbestos Abatement

If removal is to be performed when users are still present in the building, it is usually necessary to relocate some users temporarily. Typically, the part of the building from which asbestos is being removed has to be sealed off in order to prevent contamination of the other areas. Methods of sealing off an area often include the use of Polyethylene film, duct tape and negative air pressure machines which are fitted with HEPA filters. The idea is that the contained area is pulling fresh air in as to not allow asbestos fibers into the surrounding environment.

Only a special vacuum cleaner that's designed for asbestos containment (class H) can be safely used when cleaning up during and after asbestos removal. Ordinary vacuum cleaners cannot be used, even those fitted with a HEPA filter. An ordinary vacuum cleaner will expel the asbestos fibres into the room air.

If the building is closed to normal users, it may be necessary to seal it off from outside atmosphere so that no accessible air is contaminated. Removal is not the only means of asbestos abatement. Asbestos and asbestos-bearing materials may be "enclosed" or "encapsulated" to prevent building occupants from being exposed to the fibers.

An asbestos-containing building that is to be torn down may have to be sealed, and to have its asbestos safely removed before ordinary demolition can be performed. The asbestos removal may take longer and cost more than the actual demolition.



3 most common types of asbestos
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