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Preventing Asbestos Exposure After Natural Disasters

Asbestos, prevent exposure

There might not be a law that directly states that you have to deal with asbestos before you tear down a house in Vancouver, however, it is highly recommended by the local government as well as contractors who work on house renovations or demolitions. Also the disposal areas have septic instructions that most be followed for safe and legal asbestos disposal.

If you tear down a house in Vancouver and have your property tested for asbestos, you can definitely prevent harmful exposure. But, demolitions and renovations are ordinarily planned – therefore, asbestos exposure under these circumstances is pretty minimal – but what if something unexpected and inevitable takes place that can tear down your home as well – such as natural disasters?

Forces of nature such as heavy winds, floods, and rain damage can be unpredictable. Most times, these forces are quite destructive that it will leave your property damaged. And just like demolition, a calamity-destroyed ceiling or wall can be equally dangerous if these parts of your home contain asbestos.

Asbestos, prevent exposure

Don’t worry, because even if you have not had your home tested for asbestos prior to a natural disaster, you can still prevent exposure to this toxic material.

Once an asbestos-filled portion of your house, such as a ceiling, is disturbed, its fibers can be released in the area. Therefore, you have to stay away from the damaged parts of your home that you suspect to have asbestos. If you can temporarily move to another house in the meantime, do it.

If parts of your home were ravaged by the natural disaster, if your roof has fallen off, for instance, the best thing for you to do is to NOT touch the material. Don’t go poking around the affected part of the house and if you are certain your house has asbestos, call the professionals to handle the job immediately.

It’s important to know where asbestos is likely to be found in your home so you know which parts to avoid while waiting for the experts. Asbestos is ordinarily found in homes built before the 1980s and is commonly found in: pipe insulation, tiles, roof shingles, popcorn ceilings, and cement. You can get asbestos testing done or if you already have a report contact a reputable asbestos removal company in Vancouver

Asbestos Removal VS Asbestos Encapsulation

Asbestos Encapsulation

Upon finding out that your home or business has parted with asbestos it is important that you attend to it right away. If you will hire an asbestos abatement company to help you deal with your asbestos-related concerns, you might be surprised if they won’t advise you to remove the asbestos at once.

Asbestos is a component that was popularly combined with other building materials decades ago. It has excellent insulation properties, has incredible resistance to heat, and has impressive tensile strength. Due to these amazing features, it’s no surprise why asbestos became an important ingredient in building houses years before. But, even though asbestos can give your home many benefits, exposure to it can pose extremely dangerous health issues. It can be so dangerous, in fact, that most times it is required to check for asbestos before demolition of any Vancouver properties. It is always a good idea to hire a company that not only specializes in Vancouver Demolition’s but also in safe asbestos removal. 

Asbestos Encapsulation

As asbestos is considered toxic, many people immediately think that the best and safest way to deal with it is to have it totally removed from their homes – for some cases, this might be true, but sometimes, it will be more appropriate to have the asbestos encapsulated instead.

Asbestos encapsulation is a technique used by asbestos abatement companies that include sealing or locking in of the asbestos material to ensure that its fibers are safely settled and will not be airborne. Asbestos is only dangerous when its particles are released, uncontrolled, in the air. You can find more about asbestos encapsulation here or watch the video below:

To find out if removal or encapsulation is the best for you, you have to consider the following:

  • Cost – Asbestos removal will cost a lot more than encapsulation.
  • Time – Asbestos removal will take a longer time to complete than encapsulation.
  • Property value – Asbestos removal will be the better choice if you are planning to sell your home one day. Many property buyers won’t even consider purchasing a house with asbestos, even if it is encapsulated.
  • Future demolition – If you want to have a property demolition in Vancouver in the future, you would have to have the asbestos removed when that time comes, too – so, you might as well go for asbestos removal now.

Useful Tips in Finding the Best Asbestos Removal Business

Asbestos Removal

If you are having a property demo in Vancouver, it will be a lot safer for you (and your next door neighbor) if you have your property checked for asbestos first.

Demolition jobs would typically involve tearing down walls, knocking down ceilings, and other extremely disruptive actions needed to be done to quickly get rid of unwanted areas of the property. If you have house materials such as popcorn ceiling or cottage cheese ceiling and old cement pipes that will be taken down, there’s a big possibility that they contain asbestos.

Asbestos, when disturbed, will break down into dust particles which can be quite unsafe when inhaled. This is why hiring an asbestos removal company to check (and remove asbestos) before starting a demo in Vancouver is absolutely necessary. You should never attempt to remove asbestos yourself

In finding the best asbestos removal business, though, you have to check for the following:

Asbestos Removal, Asbestos Removal Business

Proper licenses – Because of the extreme health hazards of asbestos, naturally, the government has stringent rules when it comes to its proper handling. Check for proper licensing of the business, if they are authorized to handle, remove, transport, and dispose of asbestos.

Insurance – Insurance is very important in every construction and demo job – and asbestos demolition is no exception. If the asbestos removal business has accidentally damaged any part of your property that is not supposed to be taken down, you can have the assurance that things will be dealt with properly.

A range of Services – Just because it is referred to as an asbestos removal company, doesn’t mean that the services should be limited to just removal of asbestos. Asbestos testing and other methods of asbestos control, such as asbestos encapsulation, should also be offered. Emergency, on-call services, must be available as well.

Complete equipment – Anyone who comes in close contact with disturbed asbestos materials is at risk of developing serious diseases. Therefore, you have to make sure that the business has complete asbestos removal tools together with full protective gear.

Asbestos Encapsulation

Encapsulation

For most homeowners, the minute they find out that asbestos is present in their home, the first thing they want to do is to have this toxic substance removed the soonest possible time.

And, in Vancouver, demolition of asbestos materials can be dealt with easily because of the abundance of asbestos removal companies.

But before you get in touch with the finest name in Vancouver for the demolition of asbestos, you might want to look into asbestos encapsulation first.

Asbestos encapsulation is an alternative to asbestos removal. It works by encapsulating or sealing the asbestos materials to ensure that no asbestos particles will float freely in the air and be in danger of being inhaled by people.

More and more people are considering asbestos encapsulation rather than automatically tearing down and removing the asbestos-filled parts of the house because of the many useful advantages of this process:

Asbestos encapsulation will definitely be a lot quicker to complete as compared to asbestos removal. Total removal of asbestos requires careful and meticulous demolition that can take a longer time to carry out.

Sealing of asbestos will also be less messy compared to demolition; and, let’s face it – a messy house under construction or demolition is simply stressful.

Asbestos encapsulation can effectively prevent scattering of asbestos particles as it seals in even the exposed parts of materials made with asbestos.

Asbestos Encapsulation

Asbestos disposal is not easy to handle. Almost everything from transporting to actual disposing of is strictly supervised and will require the proper permit. When you opt to go for asbestos encapsulation instead, you need not worry about asbestos disposal anymore.

More than just securing the asbestos material to a safe condition, asbestos encapsulation also serves as a shield for the asbestos material against disturbance caused by minor damages such as scratches.

Additionally, asbestos encapsulation prolongs the lifespan of the material and basically gives it a better, fresher appearance.

Types of Asbestos

Asbestos

When you are having a demolition in Vancouver, it is common to hear the term asbestos, asbestos removal, or asbestos abatement.

Asbestos is a dangerous building component that was commonly used mostly for structures that were built prior to year 1970s. This building material has numerous excellent properties such as good sound insulation and dependable heat resistance that’s why it’s easy to see why many manufacturers decided to add it to the construction materials they produce.

Asbestos was discovered to be highly dangerous to our health causing serious health problems such as cancer. As a result of this discovery, asbestos was then banned in many countries. In Canada, many have stopped producing construction materials containing asbestos as early as 1979.

There are various types of asbestos, and each type can be harmful. This is why for demolition of Vancouver based properties, particularly the ones constructed during earlier times, inspection and testing for asbestos is necessary before the demolition takes place to prevent any health risks to anyone who will be close to the location of the property to be torn down.

It would be useful to know the types of asbestos and the building or house materials they are commonly used in.

Chrysotile Asbestos

Also known as white asbestos, Chrysotile asbestos has amazing durability and resistance to heat. Chrysotile is also versatile and fiber like that it may be turned into textile materials.

Crocidolite Asbestos

Sometimes referred to as blue asbestos, Crocidolite asbestos can be compared to Chrysotile asbestos because of its fibrous properties. However, Crocidolite is much more durable than Chrysotile – although it doesn’t have the same heat resistance as Chrysotile asbestos.

Amosite Asbestos

Brown asbestos is another name for Amosite asbestos. This type of asbestos is naturally resistant to heat as well as breakage. Amosite is frequently used for insulation materials and is considered to be one of the most toxic types of asbestos.

Asbestos Abatement

Asbestos

In Vancouver, demolition of a property cannot just be done right away the minute you have decided on it. Vancouver demolition projects call for many preparatory steps, such as securing required licenses.

A demolition job isn’t a simple tearing down of a structure, there are times when demolitions result in exposing dangerous materials or substances – such as asbestos.

Asbestos, if left intact and undisturbed, is something you don’t really need to be mindful of. However, since demolition jobs oftentimes come with breaking, cutting, sawing, and knocking down walls, ceilings, and other parts of the property, there is a great possibility that asbestos would be disturbed during the actual demolition.

If you have a property up for demolition, you have to have your building tested for asbestos first before having it demolished. And, if there is indeed asbestos in your structure, it will be wise for you to book for an asbestos abatement job to be completed.

Asbestos abatement is the process of handling the asbestos situation properly to control or prevent the asbestos particles from being released into the air. Asbestos removal is a part of asbestos abatement, but there are times when removal of asbestos is not exactly necessary. Sometimes, sealing or encapsulation of the material with asbestos would be sufficient to control it.

If you are not having a complete building demolition, for example, and you just want parts of your kitchen to be demolished as part of a renovation project, the asbestos abatement experts may recommend that you go for asbestos encapsulation instead of a complete removal.

Asbestos abatement isn’t just valuable when you are having a demolition, it can also help you if you have some friable asbestos in your home. Asbestos is most dangerous when it is a friable or in a crumbly state because it can easily be released into the air and inhaled. If there’s a part of your home that contains asbestos but you don’t want to have it removed, asbestos abatement specialists can have the asbestos encapsulated instead so the dangerous material can be sealed.

How to Properly Dispose Asbestos

Dispose Asbestos

After having your commercial or residential property renovated or demolished, you have to take care of proper disposal of debris from the construction or demolition site.

Most wastes from any demolition site require special handling and are not simply treated the same way you would treat common, day to day household wastes.

This is not surprising at all, particularly because you can expect demolition or construction wastes to be typically sizable – but, aside from the size of this type of waste, there are also other reasons why specific kinds of demolition wastes, such as asbestos, are not to be left on the curbside for disposal.

The local government has strict rules and regulations when it comes to asbestos disposal in Vancouver. If you have hired a professional asbestos removal company to remove the asbestos for you, then the disposal of this material is not your responsibility anymore. Most of the time, the company itself will be responsible for your asbestos disposal in Vancouver.

However, if you have removed the asbestos yourself, you have to be mindful of the laws you have to comply with – otherwise, you would be subject for certain sanctions by the local government.

 

Dispose Asbestos Vancouver

In Vancouver, for example, it is illegal to simply transport asbestos without a license. So before you go around the city carrying asbestos in your vehicle, you have to secure a license first.

To be properly disposed of, asbestos should be dropped off at the landfill. But prior to dropping off your asbestos, you have to be aware of the set requirements such as the landfill will only accept up to ten bags of asbestos, and will only accept properly wrapped asbestos wastes. There are specific standards on the proper wrapping of asbestos waste, depending on its type. For instance, asbestos insulation should be wet before wrapping. Also, there is a standard thickness of garbage bag required for you to use in wrapping asbestos.

So, before you go ahead and attempt to dispose of asbestos yourself, you have to find out all the conditions by the local government; or better yet, hire professionals to do the job on your behalf.

Signs and Symptoms of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos Exposure

In the city of Vancouver, asbestos removal is regarded as a task that requires careful handling and professional know how.

As a matter of fact, you can easily find numerous Vancouver asbestos removal companies to take on the job of asbestos removal for you because of the possible risks of removing asbestos yourself entails.

The main danger of asbestos is the actual exposure to this hazardous substance. Getting in contact with this building material can lead to serious health problems, including Asbestosis, Mesothelioma, Pleural plaques, or other major diseases that affect the lungs or other parts of the respiratory system.

Be as it may, there are still some homeowners who prefer to be hands-on with the tasks needed to be done in their homes, including asbestos removal. Since do-it-yourself asbestos removal comes with a variety of dangerous effects on your health, you should be aware of the common signs and symptoms of potential health problems because of prolonged exposure to asbestos:

Signs of Asbestosis:

  • Coughs that last for a long time
  • Frequent chest pains
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Issues with nail growth and its appearance
  • Digital clubbing or deformation of fingers

Signs of Mesothelioma:

Asbestos Exposure

  • Persistent dry cough
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Frequent chest tightness
  • Anemia
  • Unexplained abdominal pain or abdominal swelling

Signs of Pleural plaques:

  • Persistent dry cough
  • Painful coughing
  • Prolonged chest pains
  • Shortness of breath

Many of the health problems caused by asbestos exposure only show signs and symptoms years after the initial exposure to asbestos-laden materials. Therefore, if you are working closely with materials that have asbestos in them, it is important that you undergo regular check-ups to ensure that you are not putting yourself in danger.

Also, not all workers that come across an asbestos-filled material develop an illness because of it – that’s why an assessment from a doctor is quite essential – particularly for builders or workers on construction or renovation sites

Importance of Asbestos Testing

Asbestos Testing

If you have a traditional or Victorian property in Vancouver that has been constructed in the early 1900s, chances are, you are having parts of it renovated or refurbished through the years to preserve its beauty and condition.

But, aside from regular renovation, did you know that you should also do asbestos testing?

Asbestos Testing

Asbestos testing in Vancouver or any other city is extremely important to eliminate the risks of asbestos exposure. Old establishments, particularly the buildings or homes that were built before the year 1980 have a high risk of containing asbestos, a building material that can have a deadly impact on anyone exposed to it.

However, just because your house was built in the early period doesn’t automatically mean that it has asbestos. If you are not that knowledgeable about asbestos, it will be a lot safer if you would entrust the job of asbestos testing to Vancouver based companies instead of guessing or experimenting.

Asbestos testing is vital to prevent exposure to this dangerous material. Asbestos, when inhaled, can be stuck within a person’s system and is almost impossible to get rid of once it gets into your body. Therefore, the sooner you find out that there’s asbestos in your home, the sooner professionals can get rid of it.

In addition, asbestos testing can give you an assurance that you can proceed with all the home renovations you want without having to worry about an asbestos disturbance. Most of the time, asbestos, in its solid form, is a lot less dangerous than when it is disturbed or broken down into pieces. If you haven’t had your house tested for asbestos yet and you have it renovated, actions such as drilling can potentially disturb the asbestos and release its particles in the air. And, what makes asbestos exposure worse is that sometimes, you won’t even know that you have inhaled asbestos and you developed an illness because of it until it is too late.

How to Prepare for Asbestos Removal in Your Property

Asbestos Removal

If you are considering having a Vancouver demo job for asbestos in your home, it would be best if you leave the task up to the specialists in the field. Asbestos removal in Vancouver is strictly monitored by the local government because of the possible risks of asbestos exposure if the job is not handled with extreme care.

Booking a Vancouver demo for asbestos removal is fairly easy since there are many asbestos removal Vancouver businesses.

As you would expect, a respectable company for asbestos removal would complete every little task from preparation up to clean up after the demo job on your property is finished. But, as a homeowner, you can also do some legwork on your own prior to the asbestos demolition in terms of preparation so the work would run more smoothly and therefore can be completed a lot faster.

First and foremost, you must keep in mind that asbestos removal tasks can be very harmful to anyone. Therefore, it will be better of all of your family members will stay at another location for the entire duration of the demolition job. Pets can also develop certain respiratory-related illnesses because of asbestos exposure so you should keep them away from the location as well.

Asbestos Removal Vancouver

Informing your neighbors about the demolition will also help protect them from any harm from the asbestos, especially that asbestos particles can travel through the air.

Keep any furniture items with fabric upholstery away from the area being demolished and cover them tightly to ensure that no particles will get lodged in their fibers.

If you are planning to visit your property during the actual demolition, you have to be adequately prepared, too. Workers from asbestos removal companies have a specialized protective coating that should be worn while working on locations with materials filled with asbestos. Make sure you have the same protective gear before visiting.