How Asbestos Abatement Works

Asbestos is a dangerous material that can cause serious health problems when its fibers are inhaled. It can also pose a threat if it is disturbed or damaged and its particles spread into the air.

Asbestos abatement involves removing or sealing asbestos materials from homes and buildings. It requires Asbestos Removal Perth WA to perform the work safely.

Asbestos Removal

In its natural state, asbestos is a fiber-forming mineral. Its insulating and fire-resistant properties made it ideal for use in building materials, especially drywall, cement sheets, floor tiles and roofing and siding shingles. It was also used to make insulation, pipe and duct wrappings, plaster, putty and popcorn ceilings.

Even though asbestos is no longer used in new construction, the material still exists in older buildings. In fact, the majority of homes built before 1989 have some asbestos in them. If you are planning to renovate your home, it is imperative that you know whether any of the materials in your home contain asbestos and have the proper abatement performed before starting renovations.

If you don’t know for sure whether your materials contain asbestos, have a professional inspector come to your home and inspect them. They can help you decide if your materials need to be professionally removed, or can be repaired instead.

When identifying asbestos, the experts will look for any tears, abrasions or water damage. If any of these are present, it is a good idea to limit access to the area and to not touch the material. If the asbestos-containing material is slightly damaged, it may be possible to encapsulate or cover it to prevent any further damage and to keep people from being exposed to the fibers.

The industrial hygiene professionals should then test the air in the containment area and outside of it to ensure that no asbestos-containing material was accidentally released during the abatement process. The asbestos abatement contractors then double-bag the wet asbestos debris in special bags marked “Asbestos-Containing Materials,” seal the bag and place it in a sealed dumpster for safe disposal.

Once the abatement is finished, the industrial hygiene professional should return to the property to take air samples again. They will then help you create a long-term prevention plan to ensure that no further asbestos is released into your home.

Although the normal latency period for asbestos related diseases is 20 to 50 years, children are much more susceptible and can develop health problems much sooner than adults. For this reason, it is essential that you have all asbestos materials tested and if necessary, professionally removed and replaced by a licensed and accredited asbestos abatement company.

The first step in performing asbestos abatement is to create a work area within the structure. This will be separate from any occupied areas of the building. The contractor will put up plastic sheets and, if necessary, plywood to make the work area off limits to all but the abatement team. The contractors will wear protective clothing and respirators while they work, and a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum will be used to minimize the dispersal of fibers as the workers are working. The contractor will also set up a three-stage decontamination area to be used by any personnel entering or exiting the work area, with an equipment room, a shower area, and a cleanroom.

The contractors will also wet the materials they are removing, in order to minimize their potential to spread the fibrous material. A HEPA-filtered negative air machine will be set up to pull the contaminated air through a series of filters and exhaust it outside of the abatement area. This is a critical part of the process and it helps to prevent the asbestos fibers from traveling through the ventilation system to unaffected areas of the building.

If you’re planning on hiring a company to perform your asbestos abatement, be sure to talk to each contractor and get a quote for the services they will provide. Look for a firm that offers full-service testing, inspection and remediation for the best results. You should also consider bringing in a third-party firm that can oversee the work to ensure that all federal and state regulations are being followed, as well as any local or township requirements.

Once the asbestos is removed or sealed, a long-term prevention plan should be created. This will include regular monitoring to make sure the asbestos does not reappear in your building. The abatement or inspection professionals will help you create this plan. This plan will be more detailed than the one you would use for a typical renovation, but it is essential to making your structure safe. After the long-term prevention plan is complete, you’ll be able to resume normal activities in your building with confidence that it will remain safe from the harmful effects of asbestos.

Licensed asbestos abatement professionals will seal off the area to protect the rest of your building from dangerous dust. They’ll use specialized tools to remove asbestos from the affected structure and then clean the area with a HEPA vacuum to ensure that any lingering dust is removed. Once the professionals are done, they’ll test the area to make sure it’s safe for re-occupation and then create a plan for long-term prevention.

When you’re performing asbestos abatement, it’s important to hire an industrial hygiene firm that isn’t affiliated with the abatement contractor. This will prevent the “fox watching the henhouse” situation that can occur when an abatement company is overseeing its own work. The industrial hygiene firm should also have a separate inspector for each job, and they should be certified by the state.

In general, building materials that are in good condition and will not be disturbed (by remodeling, for example) are not likely to release asbestos fibers. However, any material that’s likely to be disturbed should be inspected by a professional before it’s touched, because it could release fibers. This includes category I friable asbestos-containing materials and category II nonfriable material that’s likely to become friable if it is cut, sanded, sawed or scraped.

Asbestos abatement is a complicated process that should always be performed by trained and experienced professionals. It’s important to research different abatement companies and check their credentials before hiring one. You should also talk to each one about their process and pricing before making a decision. It’s also a good idea to find out whether they offer any guarantees or warranties on their work.

Upon completion of the work, the abatement contractor will submit a final report to the industrial hygiene firm. This should include waste shipment records, permits, site logs, and copies of all licensing. It should also include a clearance letter from the inspection company verifying that all work was performed according to environmental regulations. Once the abatement contractor has submitted this paperwork, the area should be tested again by a third-party air sampler to ensure that all asbestos is removed.

When asbestos abatement work is done, the area must be tested to ensure that no airborne particles are dispersed beyond the boundaries of the regulated work area. This testing is conducted with a portable air monitor that measures the number of asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter in the air. The contaminant levels must be below the legal limit in order for the area to be considered safe for reoccupation by employees or occupants.

During asbestos abatement, workers must also take extra precautions to prevent the spread of asbestos fibers in other areas of the home or business. The work area must be sealed off from the rest of the building with plastic sheeting and duct tape, and HVAC systems must be shut down. In addition, warning signs must be posted that read: DANGER, ASBESTOS, CANCER AND LUNG DISEASE HAZARD; AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY; RESPIRATORS AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING REQUIRED IN THIS AREA.

Workers performing regulated work in the presence of ACM must receive specific training. This includes abatement operations where ACM or PACM is removed or disturbed, demolition, and renovation. It also includes maintenance and custodial operations that contact but do not disturb ACM or PACM. It also includes activities to clean up the dust, debris, and waste generated by these activities.

In occupied buildings, employees must be provided with respirators or other respiratory equipment and must be trained in the proper use of these devices. Workers must also be instructed in the proper use of protective clothing and the handling of asbestos-contaminated materials. In addition, all employees must be provided with a clean-up kit consisting of plastic garbage bags and a disinfectant.

After all of the asbestos-containing materials are removed from the abatement area, it must be thoroughly cleaned using wet methods and a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This cleaning must be performed by an industrial hygiene firm that is independent of the asbestos abatement contractor in order to avoid a situation where a “fox watches the chickens.” In most cases, the work area will not be allowed to be reoccupied until clearance testing has been successfully completed.