As time passes, we are learning more and more about the building materials that were commonly used back in the previous days of construction. Certain materials were thought to be cost-effective and relatively safe, making them common in just about any building application.
But time has since passed, and we have learned that there are some materials that are not nearly as safe as we once thought. Asbestos is one of those materials. It was widely considered to be a cost-effective insulation material in all construction projects, but it turns out that it isn’t safe to use at all.
The Major Issue with Asbestos
The reason that asbestos is so dangerous is that it has been linked with several major, deadly diseases. The biggest one of them being cancers of a wide variety. If that isn’t enough to make the move towards asbestos removal, then nothing will be.
The most common type of cancer associated with asbestos is mesothelioma. It is almost exclusively the result of exposure to asbestos, especially over longer periods of time. If that weren’t enough, asbestos has also been related to ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer, and lung cancer.
There are also a variety of other asbestos-related diseases that include diffuse pleural thickening, Pleuritis, Pleural plaques, Pleural effusions, Asbestosis, and COPD. The dangers are very apparent now, and they can have major repercussions if there is prolonged exposure.
The key is to get in contact with a removal service as soon as you become aware that there may be asbestos in your home.
What to Do If You Suspect Asbestos Contamination
If you think that there may be asbestos in your home, there are a few key actions to take. First and foremost, do not touch anything that you aren’t able to identify. Even coming in physical contact with asbestos can have dangerous results.
The first step is to keep any children or pets out of the area. If you can send them to a relative’s home for the time being, that is highly advisable. This ensures that they are not exposed in any meaningful way and that there is no risk of prolonged exposure.
It is also important to limit any activities in the area. Again, if you can stay with relatives or friends until an abatement company can come out, that is always advisable. But if you can close off the area and reduce potential exposure, that is the best bet. Make sure to call an asbestos abatement company as soon as you can.
What Not to Do
There are a couple of things that you definitely don’t want to do if you suspect asbestos in your home. The first is to avoid coming into contact with it. Even indirect contact can be hazardous for your health or the health of others in the home.
It is also important that you do not attempt to remove it yourself. Professionals have the necessary safety equipment to keep themselves safe while working; there is a good chance that most DIYers don’t have that same luxury.
Finally, don’t try to vacuum, sweep, or dust in contaminated areas. The reason being is that it could spread asbestos through the air, making the area even more hazardous than it would have been otherwise.
What to Look for in an Asbestos Abatement Company
There are a few things that you should take into consideration before looking into an abatement company. Not all asbestos abatement companies are the same which means finding one that checks all the necessary boxes.
The first step to take is to find an abatement company that has the proper certifications. This ensures that they are properly trained to handle the removal of asbestos. Dealing with a company that lacks certification can lead to potential mishandling, which can create a more dangerous situation within the home.
Another thing to look for is proper insurance. When an asbestos abatement company is properly insured, it means that should anything go wrong, you (and the abatement company) will be covered. That is important in the event that something goes awry; no one should be left holding the bag.
It is also important to find an abatement company that has a good track record. Look into reviews of the company. See what past customers have had to say about their experience with the company. It is the best way to find out what it is like to really have them on the job.
Finally, you want to make sure that they will not only remove the asbestos from your home safely but dispose of it safely as well. The last thing anyone should want is for the asbestos in their home to be removed and taken to a dump. There are proper procedures for the handling and disposal of asbestos and following those procedures is of the utmost importance.
Understanding the Process
The good news is that the asbestos abatement process is relatively straightforward. The team will arrive, establish a work area, and shut off all of the electrical and HVAC systems to ensure that there is no unnecessary spreading of asbestos.
They will take the necessary steps to properly clean the area, which means using HEPA filters as well. The goal is to remove the asbestos completely, leaving no traces behind. It also means installing a decontamination enclosure as well to keep the asbestos contamination contained.
Cleanup is done using a HEPA vacuum as well. Disposal will then be done using leak-tight containers with proper labelling to ensure effective, safe disposal of the hazardous material. The team will then use vehicles that transport the waste away from the home and to a proper disposal site where it can be disposed of safely.
It isn’t ideal to find out that you have asbestos in your home. But if you ever do, calling in a professional can make all the difference in the world. Give yourself the safe living conditions that you deserve by making sure that all the proper means have been taken to remove and dispose of asbestos.