Do’s & Don’ts for Asbestos
Thinking about remodeling or renovating your home or office? Think twice before you start demolition. Older homes and office buildings may contain asbestos containing materials. Disturbance of asbestos containing materials may cause asbestos fibers to become airborne and contaminate the building, exposing workers and building owners to asbestos. Major health effects of asbestos exposure are lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, a long-term disease of the lungs.
You cannot look at a piece of material and determine that it contains asbestos, therefore it is recommended to contact a professional who has experience in identifying and sampling for asbestos containing materials. SRP asbestos professionals often find that common building materials that may contain asbestos include floor tile and mastic, joint compound, pipe insulation, popcorn ceiling texture, roofing materials, and transite siding.
Here are do’s and don’ts when you suspect asbestos in your home or business.
- DO Communicate that there is presence of asbestos to occupants and/or employees. Keep in mind that the risk of exposure is only present if the materials are disturbed.
- DO Contact a certified asbestos inspector to take samples of materials that may contain asbestos. A third-party asbestos laboratory will be able to verify if the material contains asbestos or not.
- DO Obtain a written evaluation from the asbestos inspector noting the location of asbestos, its extent of damage and recommendations for maintenance or removal.
- DO Hire an asbestos abatement contractor. To avoid conflict of interest it is recommended to hire a separate abatement contractor from the asbestos inspector who obtains samples.
- DO Obtain a written contract prior to the start of any abatement work.
- DON’T remove any materials yourself that may contain asbestos. This will allow the asbestos fibers to become airborne.
- DON’T dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.
- DON’T tear, sand, scrape, or drill holes in asbestos materials.
- DON’T attempt to level
or remove asbestos flooring or its backing.
- DON’T track material that could contain asbestos through the house.
- Do provide respiratory protection to employees who may be working in the presence of asbestos.
- Do consult with an accredited asbestos professional prior to any renovation, remodel or demolition. It’s is mandatory for businesses to obtain an asbestos inspection prior to any construction work.
Asbestos is a serious issue and should be dealt with by experienced professionals. Have more questions? Contact SRP at (318) 222-2364 to discuss what to do when you suspect asbestos. We have ten convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Long Beach, Midland, Orlando, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.