Asbestos decontamination: the main steps

Although it used to be a popular construction material in the past, asbestos poses a major health risk. Exposure to asbestos can lead to a variety of respiratory problems and even terminal illnesses. Over time, asbestos sheets wear down and the fibers start making their way into the respiratory system through inhalation. Regulations in Canada already prohibit the use of all six types of asbestos. In case you own an old property and discover that it contains asbestos, you would need to arrange for asbestos removal and decontamination.

How to carry out asbestos decontamination?

Due to the hazardous nature of asbestos, one should take an extremely cautious approach while carrying out the removal or decontamination. Here are the main steps to take during  asbestos decontamination:

  1. Hiring a professional company

Firstly, never try to take care of asbestos decontamination by yourself. The task is simply too dangerous for DIY. You would have to hire a licensed company that has a good track record, adequate experience, and the necessary equipment for the job. A leading asbestos decontamination company should be able to tackle the task safely.

  1. Identification and planning

The contractor you hire would then inspect your property to identify all the asbestos components in it. It is often hard for regular individuals to detect asbestos until it wears out and becomes fibrous. They would then implement a plan for the preparation and cleanup process. Professionals typically follow guidelines set forward by industrial hygienists while planning an asbestos removal project.

  1. Preparation of the work area

The team would then demarcate the hazardous areas of the property and ask the occupants to leave until the decontamination is complete. They would then prepare the work area by shutting down the HVAC systems and sealing air ducts. They would also use thick plastic sheets and implement other protective measures to seal away areas that are already free of asbestos.

  1. Removal of asbestos

 Once the work area is ready, your contractor would use the necessary tools to remove the asbestos. The professionals would be wearing coveralls and face masks to keep themselves safe. Once removed, they would place the asbestos include leak-tight and clearly marked containers. They would later take away the asbestos with them for proper disposal.

  1. Vacuuming and cleaning

During an asbestos decontamination project, it is crucial to ensure that asbestos fibers do not spread around the property. The team would use sophisticated HEPA vacuums specialized for asbestos removal work, to collect all asbestos particles safely. Once the job is complete, they would implement wet cleaning methods and vacuuming to clean up all the surfaces thoroughly.

  1. Post-cleanup

The air-filtration systems and the work area barriers should remain until the area is completely clean. Once the professionals have gotten rid of all asbestos particles and completely decontaminated the area, they would finally remove them and clean the work area again. In case they provide you with a report, keep it with you for compliance with environmental regulations later on.

Why are professional services so crucial in asbestos removal?

Considering the threat that asbestos possesses to the occupants of the building, there should never be any lacuna in safety measures. Professional services are essential because:

  • Professionals know how to decontaminate the area thoroughly, removing all free asbestos fibers and particles.
  • An experienced team would be aware of all the local regulations and would adhere to them during the cleanup.
  • If an inexperienced individual tried to carry out asbestos removal without taking necessary precautions, it may result in more harm than good.

It is imperative to hire the right company for the job, as the health and safety of the building’s occupants depend on it.

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