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

Types of 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


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 Minimize Asbestos Exposure


Exposure to asbestos could prove to be fatal in worst cases. Inhalation of this harmful building material and being in direct contact with it can lead to various serious illnesses. Most of the time, contractors and other workers whose jobs involve being around asbestos for an extended amount of time, are more prone to getting affected by the substance.

If you are not a contractor or a builder, there’s still some chance that you or your family could be exposed to asbestos. Asbestos can be difficult to spot, especially for someone who is not a professional in asbestos inspection, removal, or abatement.

Still, as a homeowner, how can you tell if the home you are living in has asbestos?

Asbestos is mostly banned by many countries for construction purposes nowadays, but during earlier times, it was a popular choice when it comes to building materials for residential properties. This is particularly true for older homes, ones that are built before the 1980s. If your property was built earlier than the year 1980, there’s a high possibility that your house has asbestos.

If your home has floor tiles or vinyl tiles that are 9 x 9 inches in size, there’s also a chance it has asbestos.

Asbestos wasn’t only used for flooring, they may also be present in flat roofs, old pipes, fireplace, and other insulation materials.

If you suspect that your home has asbestos but you are not sure, you should be calling the professionals immediately for inspection. It is imperative that the asbestos is removed from your home as soon as possible to minimize the risk of being exposed to it.

While waiting for them, it’s important that you leave what you suspect to be asbestos alone. Do NOT touch, tap, or drill the material. Asbestos is most dangerous once disturbed and particles are released into the air.