Asbestos: When to Call a Professional

November 5, 2014

Asbestos is a highly toxic substance found in a variety of building materials–often located in walls and ceilings. Asbestos becomes a potential health problem when it is disturbed and the fibers are released into the air. Generally, if an area contains asbestos and is in good condition, there is little risk for the fibers to be released and removal may not be necessary.

Once a asbestos containing area is disturbed or has potential to be, removal is a good idea. This removal, however, can be a large, physical job and may not be feasible as a DIY job. This job is highly procedural and requires a delicate, comprehensive approach. Before undertaking this removal process, evaluate whether this is a job you have the equipment and experience to handle. In most cases, enlisting professional services is advisable.

Assess the Affected Area

The easiest, safest, and cheapest option is to leave asbestos alone, but this is not always possible or the best solution. When asbestos fibers pose a risk of being released into the air, professional remediation may be necessary. Because of the specialized nature of the removal process and the scope of the job, a professional asbestos removal service may be the safest option.

A professional asbestos service can sample the paint and determine if the walls or ceiling contains asbestos and assess the risks and take the appropriate safety precautions when removing it. If the ceiling and walls are in good condition, it may not be worth the labor and cost to remove it. In these cases, a coat of latex paint can often be applied as a sealant to protect the area. If this is possible, you stand to save a lot of time, money, and stress.

Professional Removal Process

If you opt to hire a professional asbestos removal service, be sure to hire a certified asbestos abatement contractor. These individuals have the professional knowledge, equipment, and training to efficiently and safely remove asbestos from a structure with minimal damage. Removal can be physically taxing and dangerous to your health, so you should almost always contract an asbestos removal professional. Once asbestos fibers are disturbed and released, they can contaminate an entire interior of a structure.

The asbestos must first be wetted to prevent the fibers from releasing. Dry removal poses a serious health risk since fibers will easily release and contaminate large areas. This wetting process is very exact and must be done with care to avoid causing damage to walls, ceilings, and wiring. Professional services will provide a containment area during this process. Proper tools, thorough cleaning, and proper disposal of contaminated materials is a huge benefit to hiring an abatement service.

Hazardous materials must be handled with care and asbestos must be removed and disposed of in a methodical way. What’s more, the physical challenges of wearing a respirator device and protective clothing and eyewear can be hot, uncomfortable, difficult to withstand, and lead to quick exhaustion–especially in confined spaces. The margin for error is slim when working with a volatile substance like asbestos, so leaving the work to a professional removal service is in everyone’s health and safety interests.

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