Misconceptions About Asbestos
Many homeowners have an incomplete understanding of asbestos, the level of threat it represents and the protocol for removal. To make sure you have your facts straight, read these common misconceptions:
Asbestos is only found in walls.
Actually, asbestos can be present in numerous household materials, including vinyl flooring, ducting insulation, roofing shingles and ceiling “popcorn.” In most cases, these materials will have been manufactured during or prior to the 1980s. The only way to be certain whether a material contains asbestos is through proper sampling and testing by a professional asbestos removal contractor. Before performing any remodeling work on your home, be sure to take this step so you know what you’re dealing with.
Small amounts of asbestos aren’t a big concern.
Another misconception is that you don’t need to worry about asbestos in small amounts. According to the EPA, when building materials contain less than 1 percent asbestos content, it’s considered a “trace amount” and isn’t subject to special handling regulations. However, even trace amounts of asbestos can be potentially harmful when the materials containing them are disturbed, and special procedures may still be required to ensure safety during removal. Consult an asbestos removal contractor to get further insight.
Asbestos must be removed, no matter the circumstances.
Since asbestos only becomes dangerous when it’s released into the air, in some cases it’s better to leave asbestos-containing materials undisturbed than to attempt removal. Of course, this depends on the specific circumstances. If the asbestos-containing materials are deteriorating or likely to be disturbed through future remodeling, removal may be the best option. However, if the asbestos-containing materials are in good condition or in an out-of-the-way area (example: insulation for heating or plumbing pipes in the attic or crawl space), you’re likely better off leaving them alone. To determine which option is right for your circumstances, consult a professional asbestos removal contractor.
Any general contractor can handle asbestos removal.
California law requires a special license for abatement contractors who deal with asbestos and lead, as well as special training and certification in removal practices. Before hiring an abatement contractor to handle these types of services, it’s imperative to confirm their qualifications—otherwise, you risk being fined.Read moreRead less