Asbestos is a natural mineral that comprises friable fibres that are known to cause serious health issues to people. Due to the material’s strength, insulation, and fire-proof properties, it was widely used in construction materials till the 1970’s, but later it got banned and constructors stopped using it in their projects. But even today, whenever you want to renovate or rebuild a building constructed before the 1970’s, the asbestos trapped in it enters the air and causes the unwanted issues it is dreaded for. Suppose the building was constructed before the 1970’s, then you must go for asbestos testing before carrying out the procedure. This kind of testing will help in determining whether your structure has asbestos or not. If it has, it will need to be safely removed first before you can start the renovation project.
Hiring a Professional Asbestos Testing Company
If you want to get your structure tested for asbestos, the best bet would be to hire an EPA approved company that is licensed to handle asbestos and its suspected particles. Even if you decide to do the testing on your own, you will still need an EPA approved laboratory to analyse your sample. You will also need to hand over the protective gear you used while collecting your sample.
Preparing the Area for Asbestos Testing
Since the testing procedure can disrupt the material and increase the chances of the potential hazard, there are a few precautions that should be taken to ensure safety for everyone. Here are a few steps to prepare the area to be tested:
- Turn off any fans, ventilation systems and air conditioners in your building.
- When any asbestos enters the air, these devices may circulate the fibres all through the building and create a hazard.
- While testing is being done in your building, do not allow anyone to come in or go out during the process.
- It is better to keep the area closed off while the testing is being conducted.
- The testing is being conducted in a house or office so it would be better to vacate the house for a few hours to ensure everyone’s safety.
Understanding the Asbestos Testing Procedure
When you call an EPA approved company to arrive at your place and do the testing, certain guidelines will need to be followed to maximise everyone’s safety. Every person present in the building at the time of testing must wear protective gear and clothing to avoid exposure to asbestos. Such gear includes clothes, boots, gloves, and face mask with HEPS filter, etc., which need to be disposed of safely after the samples are collected.
The method of asbestos testing includes the following steps:
- A plastic sheet will be spread in the area where asbestos is suspected and where testing needs to be done.
- Water will be sprayed in the area so that loose asbestos fibres cannot move freely in the air.
- A special tool is used to make a cut in the material, so that sample of asbestos can be collected.
- The sample is kept in a leak-proof container and sent for testing in an EPA approved laboratory.
- Patches of drywall, tape and plastic sheet are pasted in the area to prevent the spread of any fibres into the air.
- Any protective gear and equipment that was used during the testing area stored in a leak-proof container and disposed of in a proper manner.
Once the sample is collected and sent for asbestos testing, wait for the test results to arrive. There are two methods of handle asbestos, first is asbestos abatement and second is asbestos encapsulation. Both methods are effective in making the area safe for all and for avoiding the harmful effects of asbestos in your surroundings.