If you live in a home that was built prior to the 1990s, there is a chance that there may be asbestos in your building. Many of the materials used to build homes in the 1980s and prior contained asbestos.
At the time asbestos was used to help insulate home building materials against fire. It’s potentially dangerous qualities were not as well known as they are today. Asbestos was used in many different areas of the home, including walls, ceilings, vinyl plasters, floor tiles, and other materials.
In many cases, you can live in a home with asbestos as long as the materials are left untouched. But if you hope to renovate your home, you can put yourself in great danger. It’s important in this situation to understand how asbestos removal works.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
Many homeowners are not certain whether or not the home they currently live in may contain asbestos. Unless the materials in your home are very clearly labeled, it can be difficult to tell if you are at risk or not. There is little you can do on your own to determine if asbestos is present in your home’s materials.
Instead, you’ll need to rely on the services of a licensed asbestos surveyor. These individuals have the equipment and training needed to accurately detect asbestos in a home.
It is not recommended that you attempt to test for asbestos on your home, no matter the reason you might consider doing so. Testing on your own has the possibility of exposing yourself to the materials and endangering your own personal health and that of your family.
If you make the decision to not have testing done, it is a safer bet to just operate under the assumption that the building materials do contain asbestos. This can help to ensure you do not expose yourself accidentally during any changes or renovations.
If you need to remove asbestos from your home, how should you go about it? It’s certainly not a procedure that many people know how to work through.
If the material in question is likely to be untouched by the changes you want to make in your home, it’s best to leave it as is. A lack of disruption would likely not release any of the asbestos into your home. In contrast, attempts to remove the materials might lead to an increased risk.
If the materials in question are likely to be touched, altered, or disrupted in some way, that is when removal becomes a more essential task. Trained asbestos removal professionals have a few strategies they employ should this be the case.
First and foremost, they will likely try to encapsulate the material in question. This means that they will seal the surface of the materials that are thought to contain asbestos.
This sealing will prevent any asbestos fibers from escaping the material and becoming airborne. If the material in question is in good repair and can stand up to the process, this is often the best possible strategy for one’s safety.
Enclosing asbestos-containing materials is another similar strategy. In this situation, asbestos experts would cover the material to prevent fibers from escaping. This could be a sleeve that goes over a pipe with threatening materials or new tiles to be placed over old ones.
Neither of these forms of handling asbestos is true removal, but serve to limit the risk of the materials becoming dangerous.
Full removal of asbestos can be very risky and is only considered when absolutely necessary. It’s not something you should consider taking on yourself, as exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to cancer.
Professional asbestos repair workers have specialized safety gear they use to protect themselves when removing these types of materials. They often create an airlock area where the work needs to be done so that there is no risk of freed fibers spreading to other areas.
All asbestos-containing debris is double or triple bagged. These bags are each air-sealed so nothing inside can escape into the air. All surfaces are carefully wiped down following the removal of the materials. All tools, wardrobe, and coverings should be sealed safely in the same way and removed with care.
While it is legal to do this kind of work on your own in your home, it is highly recommended that you hire professionals given the great health risk involved.
When disposing of asbestos-containing materials, you can’t just send them anywhere. Only approved landfills can handle asbestos materials. You will need to coordinate with local governments to ensure you’re disposing of the materials in the proper place and in the proper way.
Even the transportation of these materials to a landfill or disposal site is carefully regulated. It’s important to keep them out of open airflow and in a covered truck. This helps to avoid releasing asbestos fibers out into the open air.
Laws involving asbestos removal are fairly new, so it’s important you take the time to make sure you are familiar with them.
If you’re attempting to get rid of asbestos in Toronto, it’s essential that you read the above information. Asbestos removal can be complicated and dangerous, and it’s important to fully understand what you’re doing before you start the process.
Failure to truly employ the proper safety procedures can result in great risk to one’s health and future. It is recommended that you use a professional service if you need asbestos removed from your home.
Need help with removal or restoration? Contact us today for assistance.