Homeowners Nightmare: Asbestos

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Homeowners Nightmare: Asbestos



Asbestos is present in a wide variety of building materials. Any home or building owner may encounter an asbestos-containing material (ACM) during the course of renovation, repair or demolition. ACMs can include insulation, plaster, floor or ceiling tiles, plaster, ductwork, roofing shingles, adhesives, and a host of others


If you determine you have an ACM in your home or building, you may choose to leave it alone. These materials are not dangerous if they are in good condition and undisturbed. They only become dangerous if the material is disturbed or damaged so that asbestos fibers are released in the air where they can be inhaled. Trying to remove the ACM may involve damaging it in some way and therefore making it dangerous. If the ACM can be left undisturbed, and if it is in good condition, it makes good sense to leave it in place.


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulate how asbestos abatement is to be handled. State and local laws may specify even stricter policies. The OSHA regulations include requirements for protective clothing and equipment, enclosure or isolation of dust, monitoring of exposure, proper waste containment, medical surveillance, and many others


During the drying process of Water Mitigation there is sometimes very extensive demo to be done. This demo can expose the ACM to your household. Most drying companies will hire an abatement company to come and test the area for asbestos just to be safe they are not exposing the homeowners to anything unnecessarily. A drying company will usually set up containment barriers to prevent any dust or allergens from spreading throughout the home during demolition. Containment barriers usually consist of: Heavy duty plastic and tape to set up a wall of containment. Be safe in your home and be sure to have containment barriers for demo.

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