Why is Asbestos Dangerous? Is Asbestos Removal Necessary?
Do you own a home or building that was constructed sometime between the 1950s through the 1980s?
Do you know whether your property contains asbestos?
If your home or commercial facility was built before 1990 there’s a decent chance you may have asbestos present.
In this edition of the First Response cleaning & restoration blog, we’ll delve into asbestos – not literally, of course, as that requires a hazmat suit and a respirator – but we’ll explore what the presence of asbestos could mean to you, your family or your workplace, and how to go about asbestos removal.
What is Asbestos? Why Was It Used? Is Asbestos a Health Hazard in Your Home or Business?
Asbestos exists in nature. But that doesn’t mean it’s something you want around – quite the opposite, in fact.
Although asbestos comes from rocks and soil, it has come to fame (infamy, really, more like notoriety) as a material that was used as insulation in homes and commercial buildings in Ottawa, throughout Ontario and across Canada from the 1950s onward into the 1970s and even 1980s.
Asbestos in homes was used in residential and commercial construction, commonly seen in homes today as:
- Asbestos in insulation
- Asbestos in blown ceilings
- Asbestos in drywall
- Asbestos in boilers
- Asbestos in furnaces
- Asbestos in pipes
… and in many other areas. As you can imagine, the presence of asbestos in homes leaves the occupants of a residence or commercial building vulnerable to asbestos exposure.
Asbestos presence doesn’t necessarily mean guaranteed exposure, so long as asbestos remains in a solid, undisturbed state – but such a continued inactive state cannot be guaranteed or easily verified!
Asbestos, when disturbed, sends toxic, carcinogenic fibres into the air or water. Breathing or ingesting asbestos fibres is extremely hazardous to humans (and pets as well!), heightening the risk for cancers, mesothelioma and asbestosis, among other conditions.
That’s why, should the presence of asbestos be detected, asbestos removal is required.
Asbestos Removal: Where to Start? How to Go About Removing Asbestos?
The first step is to assume that any building older than 1990 may contain the presence of asbestos, thus calling for an asbestos detection test.
If the home or building you’ve purchased has already had asbestos removal conducted or otherwise has come with a statement of negative asbestos presence, you’re good to go.
If not, we can test your property for the presence of asbestos. This cannot be done visually; a fibre sample must be taken and run through laboratory analysis.
Should asbestos be detected, the next steps are to locate all areas where asbestos is present; then to conduct a thorough, professional asbestos removal.
Can Asbestos Removal Be a Do-It-Yourself Project?
The DIY approach to asbestos removal is highly unadvisable.
Asbestos removal requires both the equipment and the experience to be carried out without hazard to yourself and/or to those around you. If asbestos is breathed in, as explained earlier, you and others are at a severely heightened health risk.
Not worth saving a few bucks!
By hiring trained and experienced asbestos removal professionals, however, you are getting the services of a crew who know how to remove the asbestos thoroughly without spreading asbestos fibres into the air or leaving any behind.
Once our crews carry out the asbestos removal, another test is conducted to detect the presence of asbestos; should the results come back positive, we will continue with the asbestos removal until the tests come back negative and the job is complete.
Count on First Response – the Trusted Pros for Asbestos Removal in Ottawa & Across Eastern Ontario
First Response has an excellent track record for asbestos removal and other cleanup services in Ottawa & surrounding communities. We’re proud of the reviews, referrals and repeat business we’ve earned.
It’s our pleasure to serve you and your people so that you can breathe better and enjoy clean, safe surroundings.