Asbestos removal isn’t something we think about when we buy a house but it’s something we should.
Tens of thousands of homes throughout Canada still have asbestos-containing materials. The problem is that asbestos testing and removal isn’t usually straightforward. These activities need to be done in a very particular way and in accordance with provincial health and safety legislation. .
Below we take a look at the dangers of asbestos containing products, what you can do about them, and why it’s almost always a great idea to hire a qualified professional to take care of this high risk job.
What is Asbestos and why should I be concerned?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was widely used in building construction until the 1980s. The word “asbestos” can refer to different types of minerals, but all are fibrous and have similar chemical compositions.
Despite the health concerns associated with asbestos fibers , it was used for decades due to its durability, flexibility, and resistance to fire before it was banned.
For this reason, asbestos materials are not just found in homes; many commercial buildings in Canada still have asbestos, as well as schools, hospitals, and other public buildings.
Microscopic fibers can be dangerous
Asbestos products release microscopic fibers when they are disturbed or damaged by construction projects such as renovations. demolition or remodeling. Breathing these asbestos fibers can potentially cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer affecting the lining around the lungs and chest cavity.
The presence of asbestos in your home may put you and your family at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease if the materials are disturbed and the fibers are inhaled. It’s also important for landlords to be aware about asbestos materials in homes because if someone gets sick from it in their rental unit as a result of asbestos exposure, they could face liability for damages caused by negligence under tort law, depending on the legal framework that exists in the country in which you live.
Where Can I Find Asbestos And When Can It Be A Problem?
Asbestos may become a carcinogenic threat if it becomes airborne — so if left undisturbed, there’s little to no risk of exposure to asbestos fibers. But if you’re going to be doing renovations or repairs on your home, office space or commercial building that may disturb building material — such as tearing out walls, vinyl flooring or removing ceiling tiles — then you may be at potential risk of asbestos exposure and should take precautions before starting work.
Asbestos can be found in many building materials, including:
- Roofing shingles, roofing felt, tar paper, and siding
- Ceiling tiles
- Drywall walls and ceilings
- Plaster walls and ceilings
- Vermiculite insulation found within attic spaces and cinder block walls
- Vinyl flooring, paper backing, and vinyl floor tiles
- Window caulking compounds used to seal windows and doors
- Pipe insulation and insulation around pipes that carry steam or hot water
- Mechanical insulation
However, you should keep in mind that it’s impossible to tell whether an object contains asbestos waste just by looking at it or touching it — even if it seems like it’s just sitting there doing nothing.
If your home or business was built before 1990, and you suspect that there may be asbestos materials in your home or business, you should have asbestos testing done by qualified and competent asbestos removal contractors.
How Do I Manage An Asbestos Problem?
Asbestos removal can be dangerous, expensive, and time-consuming if you’re not trained, licensed, experienced and certified in asbestos removal.
For this reason, hiring qualified asbestos removal professionals is the best option.
Professional asbestos abatement companies like Certified Asbestos Removal in Calgary have trained workers who know how to safely remove asbestos from your residential property or commercial space.
If you are planning a renovation or demolition project and have concerns with removing asbestos in your home or office space, contact us now at (403) 437-8070. We can come out to your property and evaluate if asbestos is present, and remove the materials safely if present.