Asbestos is unlike other materials found in the home, like drywall and insulation, in that it can cause both non-cancerous and cancerous health problems if disturbed or damaged. This is why you should always contact a reliable source for asbestos removal if you plan to renovate, remodel, and tear down a home built in the mid-1970s or earlier.
The Appropriate Asbestos Removal Process
The process of removing asbestos is heavily regulated throughout North America, meaning that professionals who provide this type of service are mandated to wear specific protective gear, including respirators. They are also required to follow very strict rules for inspection, removal, and disposal. The exact authority involved depends on the size of the area impacted and who will remove the material. Asbestos removal is not something that you as the homeowner should handle.
It is important that you hire a company that is fully licensed, bonded, and insured when you need asbestos removed. The professional will first identify any areas suspect of asbestos. This includes siding, roofing, insulation, walls, textured paint, popcorn ceilings, artificial gas fireplaces, flooring, attics, vinyl floors and adhesives, tape over the hot water heater or steam pipes, and more. Once identified, a sample is tested, which may involve the material being looked at under a microscope or an air test. If the material is in good condition, it can remain or be enclosed. If there is any flaking or damage, it must be removed.
For the asbestos removal process, the involved room is completely sealed off with industrial-grade plastic to keep people out and fibers from escaping. Large fans with HEPA filters are set up to the exhaust air from the room to create negative pressure so no fiber cross contaminates other rooms in the home. The experts then tear out anything that contains asbestos, bag the materials, seal the bags and load it into a truck or bin. The room is vacuumed, cleaned, and wiped. The contaminated materials are hauled away to a landfill that accepts asbestos.
Once the process of asbestos removal is complete, you are at liberty to continue with your plans for renovation or remodeling. Ultimately, you end up with a gorgeous home that is void of any potential dangers associated with asbestos.