Welcome to Native Environmental LLC. In this post we discover everything you need to know about Asbestos. Unfortunately, you can find asbestos in a variety of household items. Below will tell you where you should look.
Asbestos got its name from the Greek word meaning inextinguishable. It has been used as an inexpensive and highly effective fire retardant material and acoustic and thermal insulator. It was used extensively in constructing homes from the 1940s to the 1970s. Although, we now know that it having prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers can cause lung disease. Whenever it is disturbed, tiny abrasive fibers can be inhaled, which causes damage to the lung tissue and may cause cancer. In homes that were built before 1975, asbestos can be found commonly as a thermal insulation on pipes and basement boilers.
Asbestos can also be found in a variety of household materials which include:
- Some forms of paint. Having asbestos in your home isn’t exactly hazardous.
- Corrugated heavy duty 8×4 foot panels
- Fiber cement siding
- Siding materials
- HVAC duct insulation (normally found in flat or corrugated paper form)
- Roofing materials (normally on flat roofs but sometimes on shingles)
- Window glazing and caulking
- Some linoleum forms
- Glue that attaches tile to wood or concrete
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Blown-in attic insulation
Normally, the material that is in good condition won’t release asbestos fibers and disturbing it could cause a health hazard where there wasn’t one before. The best thing to do about asbestos material that is in good condition is to simply leave it alone. The real danger comes from any type of asbestos material that has been damaged. Asbestos which has been scraped, sanded into a powder, sawed, or crumbles if it has been handled will likely to release asbestos fibers and cause health hazards.
You May Have More Asbestos Than You Think
If you believe that only part of your home could contain asbestos, check for tears, water damage, or abrasions. If you find that the material is slightly damaged, be sure to limit access to the area and do not disturb or touch it. If the asbestos is more than just slightly damaged or if you plan to make changes to the home that could disturb it, you will need hire a professional repair and removal service. Before you call an asbestos abatement specialist, you need to contact the industrial safety firm to come and then inspect the area. They will give you a complete assessment that will include a complete visual exam and careful collection and analysis of the samples.
If there is asbestos present, the inspector will provide a written evaluation that describes the location and the damage, and even give recommendations for prevention or correction. Also, they will be able to perform checks after the repair or removal to ensure that area has been completely cleaned. With this report, you will be able to speak with an abatement contractor then figure out a type of plan for clean-up. Before the work begins, have a written contract that specifies the work plan, clean up and if needed local, state, and federal regulations that the contractor needs to follow like asbestos disposal procedures, notification requirements, and permits. You can talk to your local and state health departments, the EPA regional office, as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regional office to find out regulations in your area.
Repair and Removal
Repair will involve covering or sealing the asbestos material. Encapsulation or sealing will treat the material with a sealant that will either coat the material or binds the fibers so that they can’t be released. Boiler, pipe, and furnace insulation can be repaired like this. Enclosure or covering involves putting a jacket or protective wrap around the asbestos material to prevent fiber release. Only a trained professional should handle asbestos removal, and they will do so safely during the repairs.
With a repair, the asbestos will remain in place. Repair is a lot cheaper than removing it, but it could cause the later removal of the asbestos, which is costlier and difficult. Repairs can be minor or major. Repairing minor repairs is not recommended because handling asbestos materials improperly can cause a lot more problems than it solves. If you decide to have it removed, ensure that you get a written form of assurance from your contractor that they will follow local removal as well as asbestos disposal laws. Home owners will also need to ask for a disposal manifest before they pay the final bill to verify that the material was disposed of in a landfill that is licensed to get asbestos.
Asbestos Removal Contractors
Only contractors that have been licensed by the state of Arizona to remove asbestos should do the repair and removal. When you are hiring any contractor, ask for a list of references and list of similar projects that they have recently completed. Check with the local air pollution control board, local agencies that are responsible for worker safety and the BBB to see if the company has had safety violations. Be sure to insist that the contractor use all of the right equipment to do the job, and that all workers wear protective clothing, approved respirators, and gloves. You should also verify that the contractor has liability and workman’s comp policies that will cover this type of project.
In most states, contractors are required by law to let local, federal, and state agencies know that they will be performing abatement projects. Once the job is finished, before the contractor removes the containment system, the hygiene specialist will return to take air samples to ensure that no fibers have escaped. If you need more help in dealing with an asbestos problem, contact the state’s environmental affairs agency. If it is handled right, asbestos may be prevented from causing issues in your home.
Asbestos Removal In Phoenix, Arizona
If you need asbestos removal in Phoenix, Native Environmental LLC can help! We provide asbestos removal for commercial and industrial properties located in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and more. We also provide mold removal.