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Asbestos in buildings
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral mined from ore. These fibers are never used alone and are always combined with other common building materials. The use of asbestos products was popular from 1900 through the 1970's. Asbestos has been used in over 300 products. It became the additive of choice for building products because it will not burn, corrode, or conduct electricity and when mixed with other materials, strength and durability are incased. Asbestos was commonly used as follows:
- Vinyl asbestos floor tiles (VAT)
- Wall board, plaster compounds, and ceiling textures
- Roofing materials and shingles
- Pipe, Boiler and Tank Insulation
- Fireproofing material
Harmful effects of asbestos
Medical scientists have been unable to determine a safe level of exposure and hence recent legislations have been extremely restrictive. Asbestos is known to cause a number of health hazards including various forms of cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Asbestos inspections and abatement
At GAC, our professional staff will test all suspect building materials for asbestos. A survey is an onsite inspection that includes: a measurement of the size and quantity of various building materials present, the condition of these materials, and the hazard associated with any asbestos identified. A building owner or resident should never attempt to remove asbestos on their own. Only a professional trained and certified to work with asbestos should handle the removal. Removal of asbestos by an unqualified person causes much more of a dangerous situation than if the asbestos had been left alone. When asbestos is presented there are often several abatement options, asbestos can be repaired, encapsulated or removed. With each of these options come different costs.
Call our office to schedule an asbestos survey for your building.
- Asbestos is most dangerous when airborne
- People can get asbestos in their bodies by breathing or swallowing dust
- Once in the body, asbestos can stay dormant for 10-40 years, before diseases manifest
- An asbestos survey can identify all areas of concern before renovations are planned
- Removing asbestos improperly can increase potential exposures
- Only use a licensed asbestos abatement contractor to remove asbestos.