Often, when disaster strikes a home more issues appear during the cleanup. One such issue could be the discovery of asbestos containing material throughout the home. When people hear that they have asbestos in their home they panic. This article will go through the ins and outs of asbestos and its removal by a certified contractor.
What is it and Where is it Located?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that can only be positively identified by a specific type of microscope. Exposure to asbestos is dangerous and can cause a rare form of cancer called Mesothelioma. If a home was built in 1979 or before, your home may contain asbestos. In 1989 asbestos containing material was phased out but not banned. A ban was placed on the use of asbestos in 2003. However, just because there was a ban does not mean that your newer home, built in 2003 or before, does not contain asbestos.
Asbestos was used in construction materials like:
- Roofing and siding materials
- Insulation of a home built between 1930-1950
- Attic and wall insulation as vermiculite ore
- Textured paint and wall patching
- Artificial ashes and embers used in gas fireplaces
- Old stove-top pads
- Walls and floors around woodburning stoves
- Vinyl floor tiles and backing on vinyl sheet flooring
- Vinyl floor adhesive
- Oil and coal furnaces door gasket insulation
What to do if there is Asbestos or Suspected Asbestos?
If you find that your home might have asbestos you should call a professional abatement company. They will do a quick test on a 1” sample of the material. The homeowner then needs to determine if the fibers are at risk of being released into the air. For example: if a floor contains asbestos but is in good condition and not flaking, then a new floor can be placed on top of the asbestos flooring. However, if the floor is in poor condition and flaking/damaged then the floor needs to be removed completely.
What is the Removal Process?
Please note that in some states it is legal for the homeowner to remove the asbestos from the interior of a home themselves. However, this is not recommended unless the homeowner is experienced in the removal of asbestos. The rooms affected should be completely sealed off. The doors, windows, and vents should be sealed with thick heavy plastic. Everything should be removed from the room, with heavier furniture being covered by thick plastic. HEPA Vacs and filters should be installed to suck air out of the room. This should prevent negative air pressure thus preventing air from escaping into the rest of the house. The asbestos containing material should then be removed by being cut into manageable sizes. The edges should be taped to contain the asbestos. All debris is vacuumed, cleaned up and doubled bagged in disposable plastic bags that are clearly labeled with the proper warnings. These bags should then be transported in a covered truck to a landfill that accepts asbestos waste. Once all asbestos is removed from the affected areas air tests must be performed before anyone can go back into the areas without protective gear. An acceptable air test result is .01 fibers per cc. Please note that in some states it is legal for the homeowner to remover the asbestos from the interior themselves. However, this is not recommended unless the homeowner is experienced in the removal of asbestos.
If you have asbestos in your home and need help, contact the team at First Choice Restoration today. From smoke, fire, water, asbestos, and mold damage cleanup to flood damage services, we are here to help.
About First Choice Restoration
First Choice Restoration is a water, mold, fire, and smoke remediation company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. The company also operates additional offices throughout other areas of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. The company has been assisting homeowners and businesses with water, mold, fire, asbestos, and smoke cleanup for over 40 years.
For more information, please visit https://firstchoicerestore.com