When you want to do home improvement, it is important to know about asbestos, what it is, where it may be in the home and what to do about it if a home has asbestos containing materials. This can be learned by getting professionals to do asbestos testing and submit samples to a lab.
Homes constructed before 1975 are very likely to contain varying amounts of asbestos in the construction materials. When considering renovation projects on homes it is important to identify if and where there is asbestos, assess risk and then proceed to contain (abate) or remove it safely. This best done by consulting with asbestos removal specialists. Proceeding with a home renovation without learning if the materials have asbestos is like playing a dangerous game of roulette. Government of Canada has this to say about health risks of asbestos. The main risk is that construction materials when disrupted will free tiny particles of asbestos, letting them become airborne, and then will continue circulating putting everyone in the home at risk. This is explained by Government of Alberta Canada on this FAQ on Asbestos.
What is asbestos? Asbestos is a collection of minerals that are seen as long, thin fibres woven together. They are used in a large number of products and in the construction industry, although insulation is their primary application. Asbestos is a highly hazardous material, when its fibres become airborne. When they are released in the air, they can easily be inhaled. This can lead to death by causing Mesothelioma, other fatal lung diseases and or cancer.
List of Asbestos Containing Materials
Asbestos containing materials (ACM) are extremely hazardous elements to have around in the home. An ACM is any material that has at least 1 % asbestos in its makeup. Many types of ACMs are around us, and most of them are materials used for building homes and offices. Some of most common places to find asbestos include.
Several types of material are used to keep buildings insulated, and some of them are prone to asbestos. The insulation products most likely to contain asbestos include furnace linings, base of old furnaces and attic and wall insulation.
- Fire safety materials
These materials are a fundamental part in any construction project. However, these products are some of the most susceptible for ACMs. Some of the materials to look out for include fire curtains, fire-retardant material, fire-resistant fiberboard and fire door insulators.
- Electric parts
Many people thing of fabric and soft materials when considering asbestos, but electrical parts are also prone to becoming ACMs. The parts are often the parts that are in the building electrical units, or some common parts, like hairdryer insulators or light bulb bases. Other examples of electric ACMs include electric hot water services, electric heat banks, electric switchboards and electrical wires, electrical pipes and heating and cooling ducts.
How to Recognize Asbestos in Your Home
When you are remodelling your house, you need to take precautions for preventing asbestos hazards. Asbestos fibre should be stopped from getting released into the air. To do this you’re advised to hire a licensed asbestos abatement contractor.
You can’t tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it’s labelled. A trained certified inspector can take samples and send them to a lab for asbestos testing. After confirmation, asbestos removal should be carried out immediately.
Asbestos abatement and removal is a tough job and dangerous job. You should always hire a professional to ensure the job is done safely and properly. Never compromise over health and safety. The following is a list of steps common to the removal process after asbestos lab work is done. This is best conducted by professionally trained and equipped asbestos specialists.
- Planning is essential. Getting the right safety clothes and gear.
- On task, get team of asbestos abatement procedure professionals that are trained in asbestos abatement disaster restoration services.
- If an individual the third step is to file the appropriate permits with the government; many countries, states and provinces have specific requirements for asbestos removal procedures and asbestos removal in Calgary Alberta is no different. In most cases, the persons will sign some documents certifying that appropriate safety measures will be followed.
- The removal process involves spraying the asbestos with water. Once the asbestos is saturated, pry bar and a knife are used to remove the asbestos. As it is removed, it is packed and sealed in a bag. These bags must be double seal bags; the bag should be sealed as asbestos is packed in and then sealed again. For easy removal, the asbestos has to be kept wet throughout the process.
- Once all the asbestos is removed, the remaining asbestos fibres are cleaned out. This is done by wetting the fibres and placing the trace amounts of asbestos in the asbestos removal bag. Vacuuming and sweeping should not be performed, it can be dangerous.
- The bags containing asbestos are then disposed at a local landfill designed to manage asbestos removal.
The above is just a general idea of a removal process. For those looking for specific guidelines you can contact your government body that oversees environment protection services. For persons in Alberta Canada, see the Guidelines for Disposal of Asbestos Waste and the Alberta Asbestos Abatement Manual. Persons in cities of Alberta such as Calgary can get a permit to dispose of Asbestos here Actually when it comes to Asbestos contamination in the home and home renovation experts will generally recommend either safely contain it (referred to as asbestos abatement) or complete asbestos removal. Cost can be a factor when selecting the most doable solution approach. Less resources and labour may be needed abatement than removal, however an asbestos expert can advise of any solution options.
This type of specialist in disaster restoration may also have expertise in other areas of clean up and restoration. In Calgary Alberta, for example the disaster restoration company Platinum Inc. (www.platinuminc.ca/) are also specialist in the disaster clean up and restoration for water damage (such flooding from nature and burst pipes), mold damage (a toxic risk to human health), sewage damage (such as when sewers back up), grow up remediation in addition to the asbestos testing, safe containment, abatement and removal.