Although asbestos use is limited in the USA, it is still a risk. Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) pose a danger to the public because they were commonly used as building materials in homes, schools, and other structures before the 1980s.
People living in buildings built before 1990 should always be careful when it comes to home improvement and renovations. Asbestos-containing materials were commonly found around roof shingles, sidings, vermiculite insulation, popcorn ceilings, plumbing fixtures, and thermal boilers. Some houses even had it in the drywall and vinyl tiles.
Working on any of these areas poses a threat and it is best to hire professionals. Here is a brief guide to hiring an asbestos abatement company.
1. Understand The Hazards Of Asbestos
The first and most important step is to understand the hazards of asbestos. The DIY projects can save you a few bucks initially but it is not the sort of work you should do on your own. Ingesting or inhaling asbestos can lead to serious health issues such as asbestos lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural plaques, and mesothelioma cancer.
According to some estimates, around 10000 people die annually due to asbestos-related diseases. The asbestos fibers are so thin they can easily get into your lungs and affect their normal function. The risk is not worth it.
2. Know The Nature Of Work You Need To Be Done
It is important to know that not all asbestos abatement companies are the same. Some specialize in abatement while others offer environmental services. There are three main classes of asbestos work.
Class III work includes repair and maintenance of asbestos-containing materials in a building. In most cases, homeowners require class III asbestos work during home repair and maintenance.
Class II work includes the removal of non-thermal asbestos-containing materials. These are mostly found in wallboards, roofing, siding, sheathing, and drywall. The construction mastics may also have asbestos in them.
Class I asbestos work is all about thermal asbestos-containing materials. Make sure to discuss the type of work you need to get done.
3. Ask About License And Insurance
It is imperative to verify the qualification of an asbestos abatement company. The regulations differ from state to state but some federal laws govern the abatement services.
Some states even require the professionals to be licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A homeowner is not legally bound to hire a licensed company but it is highly recommended.
Never skimp on checking the current insurance policy of the company. Asbestos abatement is a risky job and you don’t want anybody hurt at your property. An ideal company has an insurance policy that covers the workers and customers alike.
4. Request Quotes
The cost of the asbestos removal project depends on various factors. Some of them are the size of the house, the time required for the removal, and the amount of asbestos-containing materials.
The professional expertise of asbestos contractors is also an important factor when it comes to costs. The best approach is to request quotes from different companies and compare them.
5. Ask For Referrals
Once you understand the hazards of asbestos handling, it is normal to get worried about the professional competence of the service providers. You can always ask your neighbors, family members, or friends for recommendations.
In most cases, it is best to request referrals from the company. Contact some of the previous customers to talk about the abatement process and the way the company carried the project. Don’t forget to request a written plan for asbestos cleaning. Check out business news articles to keep yourself up to date.