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What is Asbestos Abatement?

Asbestos is an old material that was used extensively by contractors and manufacturers during the lath 19th century. It carries with it some fantastic qualities, in addition to some very dangerous qualities. It is very good at dampening sound, has fabulous insulating qualities, and is very fire resistant. However, along with these advantages asbestos also carries its negative traits; it is now known to be present a very dangerous health hazard. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can result in a variety of serious, life threatening diseases. Since this material was used in quite a number of applications it is now very important for it to be removed with care. The process of removal is referred to as asbestos abatement. How exactly is abatement performed?

Asbestos Abatement

Inspect for the Presence of Asbestos

When a building or material is suspected of containing asbestos the first thing to do is have a test performed on a sample of the material in question. This is usually done by contacting an asbestos professional who will come to the location and carefully extract a sample before sending it off to a lab for testing. If the test comes back showing that the sample contains at least 1% asbestos it will be considered to contain asbestos. This means that a full asbestos abatement procedure will need to take place in order to fully remove all traces.

Hire an Asbestos Removal Contractor

Once you’ve determined asbestos is present and needs to be removed, you will need to find a suitable contractor to perform the asbestos abatement procedure. There are a variety of methods that can be employed to find a contractor, use the internet, yellow pages, or call your local municipality to see if they have a recommendation – after all if the city uses their services chances are that they’re a true professional.

Preparation for Asbestos Abatement

To prepare for the abatement process the contractor will seal off areas, remove furniture and items if present, and put to use all safety best practices. This includes utilizing air pressure and flows to ensure that asbestos does not contaminate surrounding or nearby areas. This process can, in some cases, be more labour intensive than the actual asbestos abatement.


Encapsulation, Repairs and Removal of all Asbestos

In some situations it’s possible to simply repair the item in question in order to continue use without the hazard of exposure to asbestos. Other times the asbestos will need to be removed outright. Before asbestos is handled or removed it is typically soaked with water to reduce the chances of exposure or further asbestos damage, additionally asbestos is removed in small portions to keep the process manageable.

Asbestos Disposal

Once the asbestos has been removed it must be disposed of properly. Along with all items used in the process, asbestos must be double-bagged and sealed with duct tape. These bags must then be labeled properly and taken to a special asbestos disposal site where it will be taken care of properly.

Complete abatement is not always necessary but it is advised to err on the side of caution when dealing with this hazardous material.

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