If you’re a commercial property owner or building manager looking to demolish, repair, or renovate your property, you will want to conduct a commercial asbestos inspection first.
A thorough inspection of the property for asbestos-containing materials will protect you, anyone entering or working in your properties, and the environment. Keep reading to learn why you need a commercial asbestos inspection, who needs to conduct it, and what is involved in the inspection process.
When Do You Need a Commercial Asbestos Inspection?
If you are a commercial property owner or building manager, there are specific regulations regarding asbestos-containing material in your buildings instituted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act.
According to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), commercial property owners and building managers must notify their state agency before any building renovation or demolition of a property that could contain a certain threshold of asbestos or asbestos-containing material. This requirement means that commercial properties must conduct an asbestos inspection prior to renovation or demolition.
Other situations that warrant an asbestos inspection are buying or refinancing a property, flooding or natural disaster that damages the property structure, or in an effort to develop long-term asbestos management policies and guidelines.
Can a Commercial Property Owner Conduct Their Own Asbestos Inspection?
Due to the nature of asbestos being a hazardous material that could cause serious health risks to anyone handling the mineral, it is not advised that anyone outside of a professional inspect or remove asbestos-containing materials and products. Once asbestos fibers are released into the environment, if inhaled, they could have lasting effects.
In addition to a non-professional inspection being ill-advised, it is required under The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Ace (AHERA) that accredited asbestos professionals be the only ones working with asbestos-containing materials in public or commercial buildings or schools. The training program these professionals must be subjected to must meet the EPA Model Accreditation Plan (MAP) standards.
There may be some additional standards in place on a state and local level when it comes to handling asbestos-containing materials on commercial properties. Seeking the services of a professional in the asbestos abatement field will ensure you adhere to all local, state, and federal regulations.
Where Can Asbestos-Containing Materials Be Found in Commercial Properties?
Asbestos was widely used in building materials, primarily before the 1990s. Bans against the use of asbestos have been instituted and then overturned. Though most new construction no longer uses asbestos-containing materials because of the risks they pose, not all asbestos products have been banned.
While the building materials that contain asbestos are in the hundreds, here is a list of some of the most common building materials that contain the hazardous mineral:
- Floor tile
- Thermal insulation
- Gypsum board
- Joint compound
- Felt papers
Again, some types of asbestos have been banned from being used in building materials, but others are found in products that can still be purchased today. Therefore, a thorough investigation of the property is needed to identify all asbestos-containing materials.
What is the Commercial Asbestos Inspection Process?
The inspection takes anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the size of the building. Our asbestos inspection expert will keep you informed throughout the process and provide you with an estimated timeframe for the inspection results.
The process involves a thorough and detailed visual overview of the entire property, extensive sample taking of any suspected asbestos-containing materials, certified laboratory analysis, and a complete report with professional recommendations for asbestos abatement.
Samples are sent off to a certified lab for analysis. Testing takes 7 to 10 days before results are provided to our experts. Once those results are received, a report can be created based on the analysis. Our experts will walk you through the report, answer any questions and provide the next steps if abatement is needed.