Purchasing a dream home is an unparalleled feeling. That feeling can quickly change if it’s discovered that the residence contains asbestos contamination. Many homeowners experience this issue, but thankfully, there are solutions for making any home asbestos free.
Residential asbestos removal is a job for professionals with expert knowledge and experience in handling asbestos products and materials while ensuring the safety of people and the environment are what makes ACM the experts. Keep reading to learn the next steps for residential asbestos removal.
How Asbestos Affects the Body
Most homeowners like to make their mark on their homes. Everyone enjoys a different aesthetic and would like to see it incorporated into their living space. On average, homeowners renovate their homes every three to five years. If the home was built before the 1990s, it likely contains asbestos products and materials that must be remediated before any changes beyond painting walls can be made.
Asbestos products and materials should only be handled by specialists with experience. It is incredibly easy to damage or break asbestos material allowing dangerous asbestos particles to be released into the air. These microscopic particles can cause harm once inhaled and lodged in the lungs. Asbestos exposure can lead to one of the following conditions:
- Lung Cancer
- Pleural Plaque and Thickening
Asbestos exposure has been linked to other cancers and diseases. Prolonged exposure increases the risk of these conditions, so an inspection before disturbing any portion of the house is necessary.
Place in the Home that Could Contain Asbestos
The use of asbestos in building materials has been around since the 1930s. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned most asbestos-containing materials. While it is unlikely a home recently built would contain asbestos materials, any home built before the 1990s, even the early 2000s, is likely to have asbestos-containing materials.
In considering renovations or fixing any damage in the home, it’s important to know what parts of the home may contain this dangerous mineral.
- Popcorn ceilings
- Vinyl sheets and tiles
- Roofing shingles
- Pipe insulation
- Air filters
- Electrical insulation and more
Every room of the home can potentially contain asbestos products and materials. Whether work is done by the homeowner or a hired contractor, an inspection should be conducted first to ensure the safety of those living in the home and those working on the home.
Professional Inspection and Asbestos Removal
Getting an inspection before renovating or repairing the home is the safest and most sure way of eliminating the risk of asbestos exposure. A trusted inspector will ensure it’s done thoroughly and correctly the first time. The process for inspection is conducted in a few steps.
- A thorough visual overview of the home.
- Taking an inventory of contaminated products and materials.
- Sample taking, which is then sent to a lab for testing.
- Inspection report with removal recommendations.
Be aware that the inspection process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the scale of the home. The sample analysis will take 7 to 10 days to receive the results.
Once recommendations are considered, removal can be conducted. All safety standards and protocols will be strictly adhered to during the process to minimize exposure and protect the environment. Proper safety attire will be worn at all times, including coveralls and full-face mask respirators. The general removal process is as follows:
- Cut the contaminated area off from all ventilation, including shutting down HVAC units and sealing vents.
- Seal off the contaminated area with plastic sheeting.
- Remove all contaminated materials and place them in clearly labeled air-tight containers.
- Use HEPA filter vacuums and wet cleanup tools to clean the area.
- Conduct air monitoring throughout the process to ensure a safe environment.
- Follow proper decontamination protocols, including containing or disposing of spoiled clothing and washing off before changing back into street clothes.