Asbestos is a material that was once used in many construction products. It was valuable to manufacturers because it doesn’t burn and resists heat. However, when asbestos fibers become airborne they can be inhaled and lead to lung problems. Asbestos abatement is the process of identifying, removing, repairing and encapsulating materials or products that contain asbestos to eliminate exposure.
In order to work in this industry you need a number of qualifications, most importantly a certificate from a recognised body. An approved asbestos removal specialist can carry out inspections and respond to complaints relating to the presence of asbestos. They can also provide a range of asbestos management services such as contract tendering, contractor escorts and post removal air monitoring.
The first step in becoming a certified asbestos removal specialist is to complete a course of training for your chosen discipline. These courses are run by accredited 3rd parties and typically last for between 2-5 days. After completing the course, you will need to pass an examination and meet certain prerequisites. Certification can be achieved in disciplines such as abatement worker, asbestos inspector, project manager and management planner.
Undisturbed asbestos usually presents low health risks for building occupants, so unless you’re planning major renovations it’s generally best to leave the material alone. However, if the material becomes damaged by rubbing or handling or is exposed to extreme vibration or water damage it may be better to remove it.
Slightly damaged asbestos is generally safer if it’s left alone, but this isn’t always possible. When it’s necessary to disturb the material, such as when installing new heating or electrical systems, it must be covered (encapsulated) by a professional. This will stop the fibres from becoming dislodged and released into the atmosphere.
You’ll also need to be aware of how to handle asbestos when you’re carrying out maintenance or repairs. For example, if you need to drill into walls and cut into pipe insulation you’ll need to seal the area with plastic sheeting and tape, turn off the heating or ventilation system, and use a respirator mask. You’ll also need to dispose of any contaminated waste safely.
If you’re not a trained and accredited asbestos specialist, it’s highly dangerous to take samples yourself. Only a qualified asbestos removal specialist should take samples since they’ll know what signs to look out for and how to carry out the test correctly. You should also always hire a professional to carry out the actual removal work since it’s extremely hazardous. Trying to remove or repair asbestos without being properly trained could actually increase your risk of exposure and even cause cancer. An experienced asbestos abatement company like Disaster Kleenup Specialists will be able to assess your property and recommend the best course of action. We offer asbestos testing and removal in Monterey, Salinas and Santa Cruz. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us today.