Asbestos is a common material used in vinyl flooring tiles, ceiling tiles, wall boards, attic insulation, textured walls and ceilings, insulation of boiler pipes, wall plaster, and other building items in homes. Asbestos is different from other home construction materials, like insulation and drywall, because it can cause both cancerous and non-cancerous health problems if damaged or disturbed. When damaged, asbestos releases small fibres into the air. Once inhaled, the fibres can pose a serious health risk. Therefore, you should always contact a reputable asbestos removal company as soon as you suspect the presence of asbestos or if you plan to remodel, renovate, or demolish your home. You can complete the removal yourself, but it is very risky because even small disturbances on suspect materials can release dangerous fibres that become airborne. Asbestos containing material can be confirmed through laboratory sampling and testing, or inspection before beginning the asbestos removal process.
The Process of Asbestos Removal
Once asbestos has been found in the home materials, the materials are further inspected to determine their condition. If they are in good condition with no plans of disturbance, they can be left intact. However, if the materials are in poor condition, such as being ripped or cracked, it is recommended to remove them.
In certain cases, homeowners may want the material completely removed, irrespective of their condition to keep their mind at peace in their home. If you decide to remove the asbestos containing materials, make sure you hire a certified asbestos removal company with professional personnel.
First, the professional will identify any area or materials containing asbestos. This includes roofing, walls, popcorn ceilings, siding, flooring, attics, insulation, textured paint, vinyl floors, artificial gas fireplaces, steam pipes, hot water heaters, and more. Once identified, the sample is tested, which involves the material being checked under a microscope, or air test. The material is left intact or enclosed if it is in good condition. It is removed if there is any damage or flaking. The contaminated materials are well-packaged in bags which are sealed and loaded into a bin or truck. To avoid asbestos contamination, the room is wiped, vacuumed, and cleaned. The materials containing asbestos are dumped in landfills that accept asbestos.
The asbestos removal area or room should be completely sealed off using industrial-grade plastic to prevent fibres from escaping and keep people out. Large HEPA filter fans are set up to block fibres from contaminating other rooms in the home. In some asbestos conditions, the professionals should wear protective equipment. The technician can use air scrubbers and a low-pressure sprayer to wet the dusty areas to prevent inhaling fibres.
The asbestos removal process is heavily regulated, meaning that the professionals providing this kind of service should wear specific protective gear like respirators. Apart from being certified, these professionals are also required to adhere to very strict rules regarding inspection, removal, and disposal.