What Exactly is Asbestos? And How Can You Test for It?

ab1What is asbestos? We have all heard the word. We all know that it comes from buildings that are old. Some of us have even probably joked about having asbestos in our house because it’s so old. But do you think every person that talks about it truly knows what it is?

To keep it quite simple, asbestos is woven into fire resistant material as well as insulating material, all of which sound like they have specific uses in homes. Well, they certainly used to but they are not allowed to build with asbestos anymore. The reason for this is because asbestos is very dangerous to humans and their pets.

Asbestos is a silicone based metalloid that has very desirable physical traits, however, due to those physical traits it can cause asbestosis and cancer in people. When asbestos gets old, or even when buildings shift and the “dust” of asbestos gets released into air, what is actually being released are the little fibers that it gives off. This is what causes sickness in people.

It is relatively easy to test for asbestos nowadays. If you suspect an area of your home to have asbestos you can buy an asbestos testing kit. This kit will allow you to seal up a piece or scrapping from your home, where you suspect the dangerous material is, package it up and send it to the address in the kit. The lab there will work out if there is any asbestos and send you back the results.

How Does Asbestos Removal Work

v1Asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen that was once heavily used as an home insulation but has been outlawed once it was identified to be a health risk. While asbestos is no longer used in homes, it does remain in many homes that did not have it properly cleared out after the knowledge of the dangers of asbestos became well known. If you suspect that your home has asbestos in it than it behooves you to take action to get rid of it. Here are some of the keys that are associated with removing asbestos from your home.

Have your Home tested for asbestos

The first point is to determine if your home has asbestos in it for sure. Hire a professional company to inspect your home and determine if it has asbestos in it. The first thing that they will do is test your home and research if it is likely to have asbestos at all based on the construction and ban date for asbestos in the area. If asbestos was not used when the home was constructed it is likely to not have asbestos in it. If there is a good chance the asbestos company will inspect open areas and crawl ways and drill holes in drywall and insert sensors to detect asbestos.

Removing asbestos from your home

Don’t play around with asbestos as it is particularly dangerous when it is being removed. Instead, hire a professional company with experience getting rid of asbestos who can come into your home and remove the substance safely and thoroughly without putting you and your loved ones at risk in the process.

Get more information at asbestos testing.

How Does Asbestos Removal Work?

1Ever since the 1970s, we have learned in the United States that asbestos causes cancer. Now that we know better, we are trying to remove all the asbestos found in homes. Workers and others may still come into contact with the cancer-causing material. Asbestos was thought to be a good invention, which is why it was used in thousands of building materials, consumer goods, and other random products. Asbestos was a cheap, durable, and fire-resistant additive to manufactured products. Asbestos has since been banned in modern times.

Asbestos abatement is best done wearing protective gear that prevents the worker from breathing in particles. There are government-sponsored rules and regulations in place to prevent people from exposure to cancer-causing airborne asbestos fibers. Federal laws are set up to prevent the removal of asbestos in an unsafe manner. Some could unintentionally expose themselves or others to asbestos materials. Asbestos exposure can cause malignant mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancers, and asbestosis. Airborne asbestos cannot be seen with the naked eye, and inhaled asbestos lodges itself in the organs such as the heart, lungs, or abdomen, causing health issues many years later after the onset of exposure.

In order to prevent exposure to asbestos, a breathing apparatus has to be used so as not to breathe in the toxicity of the material. Asbestos was previously used in thousands of building products and in 1985, made up 20% of public and private buildings including residential apartment buildings containing friable asbestos. Asbestos can be found inside the following home materials, such as caulking, cement sheeting, concrete, electrical breakers, millboard, plasters, roof shingles/felt, sheetrock, siding, textured popcorn ceilings/ceiling tiles, vinyl floor tiles, and wiring. Asbestos was not only used in homes but in schools and company buildings, which is why in modern times, we try to remove it.

Read additional information at asbestos testing.

A Beginner’s Guide To Effective Asbestos Removal: Understanding The Process

Asbestos abatement involves technical procedures meant for trained, experienced professionals. Some buildings constructed before 1989 still contain asbestos materials because it was a widely used application back then. Information about the health risks involved didn’t become public knowledge until after 1989.

Now, environmentalists are taking extra care to spread the news and help homeowners reduce the risks of asbestos contamination. How does the asbestos removal process work?

1. Getting the Workspace Regulated

Professional asbestos technicians always exercise extreme caution to contain the material and prevent health risks. The step involves sealing off access points, which includes air ducts, setting up their equipment to contain negative pressure particles and disabling all active HVAC systems. These technicians will also plasticize the ceilings, floors, and walls to prevent surface damage when conducting asbestos treatment. The aim is to contain asbestos so that it does not spread to unaffected sites.

2. Removing Asbestos Material

With the trouble spots quarantined for treatment, asbestos abatement technicians use specialized tools and equipment to sanitize the space. They will gather all asbestos-containing materials and remove any traces of particles, then put them in waste bags. The technicians will seal the bags and bring them to the designated decontamination facility for disposal.

3. HEPA Asbestos Vacuuming

The final step involves HEPA vacuuming, where technicians will sanitize the whole area. They’ll use a specialized HEPA vacuum to finalize the process after giving all surfaces a thorough wet wipe cleaning. HEPA cleaning will eliminate any residual asbestos particles that might have survived manual scrubbing.

The asbestos abatement team will do a final swabbing to tests for samples and verify that the environment is free of contamination. Residents can reenter the home once the technicians confirm that it is asbestos-free and hospitable. Given the complex protocols involved, homeowners must hire a reputable, experienced asbestos remediation team for the job. Have your property inspected and consult with an asbestos testing specialist.

How Does Asbestos Removal Generally Work in a Home?

z1If you are going to contract with a company to take care of asbestos removal in your home, you will want to know how this works before you do.

Luckily, most companies dealing with asbestos removal carry out the removal using the same techniques. That means the following is what you can expect.

Segregating the affected areas — If you do not have asbestos in every room in your home, the areas where it is located will be taped off with large plastic sheets and tapes. This allows the asbestos to be removed from ceilings, under floors and in walls, without it escaping from one room to the rest of the house.

Air filtering — An air filter will also be set up that will filter the air in any room where asbestos is located. This allows clean air to be pumped in while air that may be contaminated with small particles of asbestos will be pumped out.

This keeps the room safe not just for you, but also for the technicians working there.

Once the rooms have been taped off and the air is being filtered, the asbestos removal will begin.

Bagging and disposing the asbestos — The asbestos that is being removed will be bagged in industrial strength garbage bags and loaded onto a truck. That truck will then be driven to a licensed disposal facility where the asbestos will be unloaded.

It will then be disposed of safely and legally.

Your home will be cleaned — The final step of any asbestos removal is the cleaning of your home. The company you hire will do this. That way they can ensure all asbestos has been removed, and your home is now safe to be lived in again.

At this point, they will also usually certify it to be asbestos-free. See asbestos testing for more information.

Asbestos Removal…Why Hire a Professional

The purpose of this summary is to touch on three reasons to hire a company for asbestos removal, instead of doing it yourself. One can pay a small price to have it professionally done now or potentially pay a much larger price “down the road”.
The first reason is safety. Asbestos is toxic when it is disturbed and the fibers float freely in the air. Removal of asbestos requires safety equipment not normally possessed by the average person. Breathing these fibers can lead to hypertension, hoarse breathing, shortness of breath, swelling in the neck or head, and trouble swallowing. It is much simpler to hire a professional who already has these tools and knows how to use them than it is to “do it yourself”. Long-term health effects of dealing with asbestos removal include asbestosis and lung cancer. It just is not worth the risk to try to do it yourself.

Secondly, asbestos is a hazardous material and must be handled with extreme caution and disposed of with care. When removing asbestos, the asbestos needs to be from other rooms to prevent cross contamination. If cross-contamination does happen, exposed items need to be disposed of at a special asbestos waste station. Hiring someone else to remove the asbestos should ensure that contaminated items are disposed of at a special waste station.

A third reason is that the cost of doing it yourself is far greater than it would be for professionals. These costs would include specialized safety equipment and handling materials necessary to dispose of asbestos safely, disposal fees, hazardous materials survey, and inspection fees.

Since there is renewed concern for safety and asbestos removal, and people want to save money as well as saving their health, professional asbestos removal is definitely an option worth considering for your money and health. Get to learn more about the proper procedure of asbestos testing come visit us.

What Is Asbestos Testing? It Is Something That Will Make Your House Safe

Petri dishes with mold on white surfaceWhat Is Asbestos Testing And Why Do You Need It?

If you have heard a lot about asbestos testing lately, and if you live in an older home, then you can know that this testing is something that you need because it will make sure that your home is safe. What it is, is when someone comes to your home and sees if there is any asbestos in there. Asbestos is dangerous, and if they find it, then you can have it removed and make your home safer.

Find A Company That Has Long Been Doing This Testing

When you find a company that has long been doing the same kind of work, you will find one that you will trust to do the work well for you. The company can see if there is asbestos in your home and give you a real answer about whether or not it is there. And, that same company can remove it if they do find it, which will be simple and easy for you. You have to pick the company that has been doing the testing for a while so that you will fully trust it to do what’s right.

Your Home Will Never Have Been Better

You may not have realized the harm that asbestos could cause before you started hearing about the testing that your friends and neighbors were having done, but once you realize how bad-for-you asbestos is, you will want to get your home tested. And, once it is tested and removed, your home will be better than ever. And you will feel good about your decision to stay living there because you know that everything is alright in your home. It isn’t bad for your health to be there anymore because the asbestos has been taken out.