Asbestos Removal Published Article

As Published in the Sunrise Country News

  

Asbestos- a question to ask before renovating

When planning a renovation, we tend to overlook the unseen safety hazards within your home. One of the big hazards is Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) particularly if it was built prior to 1986 and even some homes up to 1990 will contain ACM. 

Can we see it? Is it there? Will it hurt us? Can we ignore it? Is our contactor competent? Can we remove it ourselves? What will it cost? These are questions that you should have the answers to in the planning stage to avoid unforeseen budget increases.

Here are some common answers from a contractor you should avoid. 

-It won’t hurt you I’ve been dealing with this for years and I’m Ok.

-I don’t see any in this material you are OK.

-the amount is so small we can get it done without having to incur all that extra cost or let people know.

-I have a guy that will come in and remove it cheap we don’t have to involve OHS or other government parties.

Hear are the answers you need to Hear from your contractor

-your house was built during the period when asbestos was used in the building materials we should do the appropriate Asbestos testing sampling prior to performing any work or disturbance of the material

-we can not visibly tell if a material contains asbestos or not and it should be tested.

-If we try to remove the ACM with-out the proper procedures it will contaminate the area as well as the people associated with the area (people in the home as well as the people they come in contact with after leaving the home ie, their car, their clothing, their person and anyone they come in contact with afterwards like hugging the kids when the arrive at their home).

-we should budget to have a qualified asbestos contractor test and perform the Asbestos Removal

-if asbestos is present the qualified contractor or client will need to hire a 3rd party consultant to test the areas before, during and upon completion of the project to confirm that the project did not contaminated the adjacent areas or expose the crew performing the work

- Alberta OHS laws require that anyone planning a project where asbestos may be disturbed must notify OHS at least 72 hours before starting the work. All workers must get government approved training before they handle asbestos in a restricted area.

Some ACM in the home  are 

Drywall joint compound, plaster texture and popcorn ceiling, ceiling tile, roofing material, HVAC systems, floor tile, linoleum, linoleum backing are just a few materials. 

The procedures for handling, removal and disposal of ACM is provided by the Alberta government which is to be followed by the party or parties performing the work (please do not undertake the abatement yourself)

Unfortunately, human nature tells us that if we don’t feel or see the immediate effects of a hazard then it does not harm us. With this one item it could not be further from the truth.

The results from asbestos exposure are not immediate they generally show up 10, 15 and 20 plus years from the time of exposure. They include but are not limited to mesothelioma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer, Asbestosis, pleural plaques, Diffuse Pleural Thickening, Atelactasis and COPD. Medical research will tell you how these diseases end I don’t need to do so.

Ultimately, consider one’s safety before performing any work within your home and if in doubt contact a competent company that can put your mind at ease by performing the proper testing or service within your home.


Written by Allen Sabourin

Canada Mold and Asbestos Solutions Inc.

Certified Asbestos Worker, Master Water Restorer, Master Fire and Smoke Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner, Applied Microbial Remediation Technician, Level I Thermographer


Disclaimer- We do not make any representations or warranty accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material contained within this article.

Mold Articles

As Published in the Sunrise Country News

  

Mold – In the Indoor environment


Volumes of text have been written on the subject here is a simple summarization of the remediation process. 


Mold and Fungi are always in and around us, they assist in the breaking down and digesting an assortment of things in our world (decomposing items) with out them our world would not function.


Is Mold in the home a health concern? Indoor Mold effects healthy people in many ways. A generalization is some of us it will show no visible physical effects others will require a hospital visit or worse and then there is everyone in between. If a person is Immuno-suppressed, then they are at risk to developing serious health complications.


In todays age we do not want to have mold in are homes or in the indoor environment. It is a sign of a larger underlying issue (Water damage incident, water intrusion or condensation issues) which could eventually lead to structural failure in the building. 


Its part of the cycle of life, natures fight with us to return our home to the earth like a fallen tree does in the woods.


What needs to be done? How and by who.


  • Isolation of the area to prevent contamination of the outlying areas


  • Proper protection for the people performing the remediation (when the area is disturbed aerosolization of the mold occurs causing the ambient air to be contaminated beyond acceptable levels)


  • Safe removal and disposal of damaged material (drywall, carpet, sheet vinyl, baseboard and other items with physical damage)


  • Assess framing and sheathing (surface mold can be removed through abrasive means combined with HEPA air filtration) but deteriorated (rotten material will require removal). 


  • Damaged structural and supporting items will require specific protocols for removal and replacement without affecting the structures stability of the rest of the home. (engineers report may be required)


  • Perform a thorough cleaning of the area


  • As a company we like to treat the area with an antimicrobial due to the presence of water at some point


  • Corrective action should be taken to prevent recurrence of the mold


  • At a minimum air sample testing should be performed post remediation (by a 3rd party not the contractor performing the remediation) to provide documentation that the remediation has been successful, and the area has been returned to a “normal fungal environment”

It is recommended that professionals who have the training and certification be contracted to perform the mold remeditation. (Applied Microbial Remediation Technician certified with the IICRC) www.iicrc.org 

  

One should pay close attention to the wording on residential products used in the fight against mold. We assume that their purpose is one thing when, they may for another purpose. (removal of staining) caused by mold)


The equipment used by the professionals should carry documentation supporting recent testing and certification of the equipment (HEPA vacuums and HEPA air filtration devices) to ensure that they are performing as designed. 

Testing for asbestos in buildings built before 1990 should be performed prior to any work being performed or the areas disturbed for everyone’s safety.


As previously stated there are Volumes of text that have been written on mold and the health effects associated with mold exposure not all information out there is accurate or correct. Current government sources carry unbiased information. Even my article is biased as it sways you towards using professionals for you and your family’s safety.


If you think that you may have health issues or concerns regarding mold exposure, the appropriate health professionals should be your resource for health information rather than hearsay.


Ultimately, consider one’s safety before performing any work within your home and if in doubt contact a competent company that can put your mind at ease by performing the proper testing or service within your home.


Written by Allen Sabourin

Canada Mold and Asbestos Solutions Inc.

Certified Asbestos Worker, Master Water Restorer, Master Fire and Smoke Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner, Applied Microbial Remediation Technician, Level I Thermographer


Disclaimer- We do not make any representations or warranty accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material contained within this article.