Archive for the ‘Removal’ Category
Asbestos Siding is a Common Building Material
Do you live in a home with asbestos siding? Many would be surprised at the numbers of people that would answer yes to that question. But it is not surprising because between the 30s to the 70s asbestos was and still is a valued durable fire-proof material. The major problem is it is considered to be a carcinogen and very dangerous to humans.
Asbestos Siding and Asbestos Shingles are They Safe?
Most building materials made with asbestos is so durable that in many cases materials like asbestos siding or asbestos shingles last more than 100 years in many cases. What makes these materials unsafe is when the siding or shingles get broken or have become deteriorated to the point the material starts breaking down. At this point the fibrous asbestos can become airborne and people can inhale it. Asbestos abatement contractors can seal the material so it is not dangerous to people.
If asbestos siding is properly installed and safely sealed the insulating effect and durability and fire-proofing capability the material adds to the home is second to none. Many materials that contain asbestos are banned from use. But in spite of all the dangers faced by contractors that provide professional handling there are still some that use some of these materials.
Asbestos Siding Removal
Asbestos siding removal can be dangerous and in your state there may be laws that forbid a person that is not a licensed asbestos abatement contractor to do so. If it is allowed and you try to do it yourself the important thing is that you or anyone else should not come in contact with the fibers. When the fibers escape into the air they can be inhaled and pose a serious health risk.
No one will ever recommend you remove asbestos siding by yourself. Even if the local laws allow it is still recommended to hire an asbestos contractor to handle the removal.
Proper handling of asbestos siding for removal will require you to use a mister to dampen the material before removal. Wetting down the material will minimize the fibers escaping into the air. Continue to wet down the contaminated material as you work to remove it so no fibers are released into the air. Asbestos siding or roofing tiles are often nailed on you will want to take special care removing the nails. Special care should be taken not to break the material while removing. Extra care should be taken with the material that is removed. Keep wet until placed in plastic storage bags to keep any fibers from getting into the air. If the removed material is just left lying around it become very easy to step on it and cause damage which make the fibers to escape into the air.
Another important point never under any circumstances reuse any of the material over again. Not only is it not safe it can be against the law to reuse any material in your area.
Always double check with the local laws concerning asbestos removal. In many cases it can be illegal to attempt the job of removal yourself. In all cases it is safer for the job to be performed by an asbestos removal contractor. Trained professional safely can handle removal and disposal of the asbestos siding with no danger to anyone.
One thing for sure all during the 20th century the use of asbestos was a very popular mineral used for many things and has created a major need for asbestos abatement. It is very durable, heat resistant and the insulating qualities were second to none. With popularity like this today the need for asbestos abatement becomes a very important issue.
With just building materials alone more than 3000 different products were manufactured with asbestos in the mix. Thankfully it was in the mid 1970s that the general public began finding out about the dangers of breathing asbestos fibers. The information began spreading about all the deadly lung diseases that were caused by the fibers.
Products that contained asbestos were banned which allowed the remaining building materials to still be used. Today presents a much different story. With the slight hint of asbestos fibers becoming airborne containment becomes essential for asbestos abatement.
There are no dangers as long as the asbestos fibers become airborne. Once the fibers reach the open air then the danger exists that any unsuspecting person could breathe in the deadly fibers.
Professional Asbestos Abatement
Just doing a little simple home remodeling can be very dangerous with any chance of the dangerous asbestos fibers being released into the air.
If you are up-to-date on all of the latest safety guidelines it may be possible for you to do the job safely. If not it is highly recommended for you to hire a licensed professional to properly handle the asbestos abatement needed to do the job safely.
The do-it-yourself person believes he can save money and lower expenses without the professional asbestos abatement company. When you consider that even if you do the job yourself you will still need to follow the local laws and guidelines to properly handle the safety procedures.
Just consider the cost of the extra protection you will need to do the job safely. This short list will give you an idea:
- Protective Boots
- Protective Clothing
- Gloves for Hand Protection
- Protective Eye Ware
All of this equipment is must be rented or purchased to do the asbestos abatement safely. And remember this equipment is needed for every person who will access the contaminated environment as a helper or just looking.
In the case where it is unknown if the materials contain asbestos that will be worked with asbestos testing will need to be done by an accredited asbestos testing facility. Many cases require microscopic examination to verify if there is a risk. When the risk is verified the presents of asbestos exists it leaves you with a couple of possible options. If the materials are in top condition they may not present any immediate hazard. On the other hand if the materials are in poor condition meaning fibers could be released into the air proper asbestos abatement disposal and elimination is required.
Experienced Asbestos Abatement Contractors
The experienced asbestos removal contractor will seal in the area first with plastic. This step keeps the asbestos contained in the sealed area. Then the contractor and his workers will enter with protective boots, clothing and gloves including eye protection and respirators. For severe cases to remove asbestos where the fibers have the possibility of becoming airborne they wet them down to begin the removal process. This keeps the fibers from becoming airborne. All the asbestos materials are removed are place into bags that keep it secure for transportation to disposal site.
Asbestos elimination is a very risky business when it is not performed is accordance with the regulations and local laws. It is very important to have a very good understanding of all the safety regulations and laws before undertaking a remodeling job on your own. If there is a hazard consult the asbestos abatement contractor first and get estimates first.
There are still many homes and buildings that need asbestos removal in the U.S. and very often go unchecked.
One of the most common forms of asbestos used in construction was spray applied thermal insulation systems that are flame retardant.
This type of material containing asbestos was often (flocked) in to create a textured surface. The process is depositing small fiber particles on a surface to give a textured surface.
You are very likely to still see buildings and homes today that still have flocked acoustic ceilings. These were the “popcorn ceilings” a process banned in the U.S. back in 1978.
The bad part allowed installers to use up all their remaining material. So homes and buildings could have this type of acoustic ceiling asbestos installed as late as 1986.
To Be Sure When Asbestos Removal is Required
The one way to be sure when asbestos removal is required is to have it tested. This is done by taking a small sample and submitting it to an accredited laboratory for testing and verification.
Asbestos Removal Accredited Testing
NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology) provides a list of accredited laboratories do asbestos testing. The NVLAP (National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program) can be contacted at the following websites:
It is always possible that the method used in installation may not pose any risk. Some of the methods used to apply the asbestos was done in such a way that the fibers could not become dislodged so they could not be inhaled. In this case the asbestos poses no risks.
When the flocking method is used to apply asbestos the fibers do drop off and pose hazards, especially when workers need to drill holes to install wiring, cables and pipes. Many workers do use the proper protection in such cases but with the release of the toxic fibers pose a danger to others.
In such cases when asbestos is present very stringent procedures are required.
The airborne dust created from asbestos fibers even has its own name special name “friable”. As an example floor tiles made from asbestos are considered non-friable. But, the popcorn ceiling is considered extremely friable.
Asbestos Removal Procedures
When people will still be in a building when removal is to be perform proper procedures for relocation must be followed temporarily. The area of the building must be sealed off to prevent any contamination reaching the other parts of the building.
Some of the methods used install polyethylene film with duct tape. HEPA filters are installed to create negative air flow. The asbestos fibers are blocked from getting into the surrounding areas. The protected area pulls fresh air in not allowing asbestos fibers in.
Asbestos removal with a vacuum cleaner can only be done with an asbestos containment class H vacuum. The class H vacuum is designed for this purpose.
A standard vacuum with a HEPA filter cannot be used because they still spread asbestos fibers into the air.
In very severe cases some buildings need to be closed off from any use and must be sealed off from the outside air. Some cases can contaminate the outside air causing a danger during asbestos removal.
There are some cases where removal is not used as a means of asbestos abatement. In special cases the asbestos containing materials are sealed of with some type of encapsulation method to close off any exposure to the fibers in a building. When this is possible asbestos removal is not required.
Still there are other cases where the asbestos removal in a building must be safely performed even before the building can demolished. Performing asbestos removal before demolition can take place can be a very costly, taking a lot longer than normal.