Asbestos is still a threat in building across America. Old construction using this harmful material has been linked to numerous cases of disease. If you own property with old structures and suspect that asbestos resides there, or have proof, then it’s time to call in an expert. Don’t try to do this yourself without the proper equipment, protection, and plan.
Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) can be dangerous if they are disturbed. This can release loose asbestos fibers into the air, putting anyone nearby at risk for exposure.
ACMs can cause serious health problems, including lung diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma. This is why choosing a trusted and experienced asbestos removal service is essential.
Check Their Credentials
When it comes to choosing an asbestos removal service, there are many factors you should consider. These include licensing, expertise, and experience. You should also check whether the firm follows local and state asbestos disposal regulations. In addition, you should ask about their pricing. You should avoid using firms whose prices seem suspiciously low compared to their competitors.
Certified asbestos professionals are trained to handle testing and removing potential asbestos material. They can conduct home inspections, take samples, and advise homeowners about what corrections need to be made. They can also perform actual removal if necessary, though this is generally a last resort as it involves considerable health risks. Disturbing asbestos material can cause fibers to become airborne, where they can be inhaled or ingested.
However, if the asbestos is in good condition, it may not need removal. In such cases, it can be encapsulated or covered. Older household products, such as asbestos cement roofs, siding shingles, and pipe insulation, can be encapsulated with special sealants.
Check Their License
While homeowners are not subject to the same strict asbestos regulations as schools or other public buildings, they must still follow procedures and safety precautions when dealing with asbestos materials in their homes. This includes testing, assessment, and correction.
Unfortunately, some asbestos professionals encourage unnecessary removals or perform them improperly. This can increase health risks for homeowners.
The safest and most cost-effective way to deal with ACM is to encapsulate or seal it. A licensed asbestos contractor can do this. The enclosure is typically accomplished by filling the material with an airtight seal, using plastic sheeting and taped seams to ensure no fibers escape into adjacent areas.
This area is then enclosed with HEPA air filters and clean air exhaust ducts. It is also recommended that all contaminated items be labeled as containing asbestos so they are not disposed of incorrectly. This is especially important when dealing with older household products like asbestos cement shingles, siding, and flooring.
Check Their Experience
Ideally, any asbestos in your home should be left alone if not damaged. However, it must be corrected if it is, or if you are planning any changes to your home that could disturb it. This can be done in two ways: repair or removal.
Repairing the material usually involves sealing or covering it. It may also involve patching and filling. You should always test before doing any work that could disturb the material. Samples should be sent to a laboratory accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). Your local health or environmental department could also help.
You must hire a firm that has experience in handling asbestos. Some firms have been known to encourage unnecessary removals and to perform them improperly, increasing the risk of exposure for their customers. It is also essential to ask the firm about their disposal policies.
Check Their Pricing
Asbestos removal costs can vary, but it’s essential to get a detailed estimate and understand the process so you can choose the exemplary service. It would help if you also asked about their warranty and other services, including duct sealing, asbestos disposal, and mold testing.
You may want to consider hiring a third-party inspection company with no financial relationship with the abatement contractors. This will avoid conflicts of interest and ensure you get the best advice.
Generally, the cost of asbestos abatement will depend on the size of the exposed area and whether the site is contaminated. The more contaminated the place is, the more expensive it will be to remove it. In addition, you will need to pay for any equipment like hostile airflow fans, and HEPA vacuums they use.
Finally, you must also pay for protective materials like suits and respirators. Additionally, you must purchase additional materials like barriers and sealants to protect the rest of your house from asbestos contamination during the process.