Just the mere mention of asbestos stops companies in their tracks. It is the source of mesothelioma lawsuits advertised on television and has impacted generations of construction workers, plumbers, and shipyard workers. When an office or industrial building are set for sale, renovation or even demolition, a building may require handling of asbestos.
What Is Asbestos And Why Does It Matter?
Maybe you own an office building and your company sells paperclips and staples. What could you care about asbestos?
Well, asbestos is made up of long fibers. If the material is agitated or just moved slightly it goes airborne, where it may land in employees’, customers’ and other visitors’ lungs. It festers and causes mesothelioma and breathing problems.
The latter portion results in costly lawsuits and deadly disease. The other reason it matters is because asbestos was used throughout buildings, from the cement used to seal pipes to ceiling tiles, flooring, insulation, in paint, and even roofing shingles and siding. It was used in nearly every aspect of housing and buildings.
Production of asbestos began dropping off until it finally was ceased full in the early 1980’s. The final products were sold and used up by the late 1990s, nearly the turn of the new millennium. Therein lies the problem. A building can have asbestos in place, but it is not known by a visual inspection whether it is there or not. The other issue is that asbestos that has been in place in older buildings for nearly 80 years may be wearing away and entering a building’s water supply, just as one example.
Special Asbestos Evaluation
Asbestos has an interesting quality where it is fine as long as it is not touched. It means that even taking a sample of insulation that may contain asbestos requires special care and following special precautions.
Finding Qualified Professionals
Choosing a professional asbestos remediation firm is a challenging process. In the best case scenario, asbestos is identified and is safely removed. In the worst case scenario, the asbestos is jostled and set free, not captured and removed in time to do more damage.
Look for experienced professionals as one part of the formula to locate the right asbestos removal company for your building. Time is not always an indication of success, but it is likely to point to quality work in this case. Find out what type of training the professionals have, and see if they will answer questions about how to identify and remediate the asbestos.
An old standard in the world of construction, engineering, and anything else related to building is the Blue Book. Check out The Blue Book online to find local listings of professional asbestos remediation companies. Local listings that have the blessing of a state body overseeing them may be another excellent resource to ensuring that asbestos remediation is performed in line with good practices. This ensures that asbestos is removed, abated, and remediated in a manner that will allow for a healthy building without traces of asbestos that may harm employees, workers, and products used or stored in buildings.
Asbestos is a tough problem because it potentially lurks behind every wall, around pipes, in ceilings, roofs, on the exterior, and even in the water lines. It is hard to imagine performing any renovations on buildings built prior to the late 1990’s without making plans to incorporate an asbestos evaluation as a part of the process. It would be potentially dangerous to any contractors, demolition teams, and anyone within the vicinity of your building.
Be safety conscious when making plans to perform renovations. Always have the building checked for asbestos. For more information check out this GooglePlus asbestos page.