What You Need To Know About Asbestos Removal
As asbestos becomes higher profile, the information surrounding it becomes more convoluted. Everyone has varying levels of knowledge that is based on a bit of fact and lots of mis-information. It can be a very gray industry, even for the professionals.
A few facts for you.
- In Canada, every instance of asbestos needs to be evaluated on a project specific basis, no two situations should be treated the same - they are like a fingerprint.
- Any home 1990 or older can have asbestos.
- If you plan to knock down an existing house to make way for a new, it must be tested for asbestos. If there is asbestos present, it must be remediated prior to demolition.
- The City of Calgary requires that a form be signed prior to issuance of a demo or building permit. This is a legal document, do not sign this form unless the information you are signing off on is true.
Residentially, asbestos can be found in:
- Drywall mud
- Ceiling stipple
- Flooring (both sheet and tile)
- Transite siding
- Vermiculite insulation
- Duct wrap
Vermiculite is at the top of the "serious" list. Do not disturb or let somebody blow insulation on top of it without getting advice first! Ceiling stipple and lino sheet flooring are also usually high in asbestos content.
If the asbestos containing material (ACM) is in good shape and not disturbed, it generally poses no threat, so unless you plan to renovate, do demolition, knock down, or move your house, don’t panic. It is wise to have your house tested and know what you are faced with. You can make informed and cost effective decisions if you have the knowledge.
If you plan to buy or sell a home that was built in 1990 or prior, you should know if asbestos is present in the home. Home inspectors and realtors should know if it is possibly present and insist on a test. Knowledge is important as it can be a negotiating item. As a professional, ignorance is not an excuse. Neither is an “if I don’t know……..” (aka “ostrich” approach).
Nobody can tell you asbestos is, or isn’t, present in a home unless they have a test report in front of them. You cannot see asbestos, it is microscopic so don’t let someone tell you that asbestos isn't present unless they provide the report. Homeowners and contractors are responsible for the actions and the trades within the home and community. The public and trades know that asbestos is “bad” and a couple of questions can lead to some unwanted and potentially damaging liability for the homeowner, contractor, or both.
Any contractor that is not properly qualified for asbestos removal might appear cheaper, but they are exposing their clients to potential health and financial trouble. This issue is drawing a line in the sand between contractors that want to do things the right way and those who chose to ignore the issue and continue on as they were. This is causing another round of the reputable vs. ‘’’tailgate” contractor war that we have waged for years. Good and reputable contractors are struggling with how to compete with those who chose to ignore asbestos.
It is very simple.
Every renovation (or real estate transaction) should start with a hazardous materials test, we can help. Know what you are faced with and plan/budget for it. It is now part of the cost of selling, buying, building, or renovating a home.
Asbestos Solutions can provide advice and evaluate your home. Before you buy, sell or renovate, contact us and we will provide straightforward, factual, and honest information.
Asbestos Solutions uses no temp labour for any asbestos removal work. The difference in efficiency and quality is night and day. We have our own crews that take what we do seriously. Asbestos Solutions is committed to customer service and long term relationships. The best way to accomplish that is through fair pricing and great service!