Does My Home Have Asbestos?
With over 100 years combined experience remediating mold and asbestos for major insurance companies across Canada, I think we can call ourselves experts. Many of our customers considering renovations in older homes have a budget, and have not considered the ramifications of Asbestos, how it may impact their family’s health, and the costs to remediate.
What is Asbestos?
For visual purposes, think of an Apple as a filter in your lung. When you get sick, a mucus spore is about double or triple the size “relative.” Your lungs filters do not allow these spores to penetrate, and can fight off the infection.
Asbestos however, is a particulate fiber “Barb Like” and a 100th the size of that apple size filter. What does this mean: Your lungs natural defenses can’t fight off this foreign substance, causing major respiratory health problems with repeated exposure.
Remediation Process & Costs:
Think of your large Kitchen as an example. It would take two crew, plumber, and electrician approximately a day to demolish cabinets, walls, floor, and cap all electrical/plumbing. All debris can be roughly thrown in a large dumpster, and the process is done. Sounds like about a $1,000 bill for argument sake.
Now, let’s say your home is built before 1992, and after say 1970. There is a good chance asbestos is present in the mud/tape, and texture of your walls, vinyl floor, and textured ceilings. The testing alone costs approximately $850-$1,500, as a sample lab must view and analyze all samples taken from the home. Once confirmed, a remediation plan must be developed. In order to legally remediate this asbestos filled kitchen, we must contain the possibility of toxic drywall and flooring dust from contaminating the rest of your home. In order to do so, an “ET or Outbreak” like Poly barrier, and decontamination chamber must be built. Just like in the movies, a shower, Tyvec suites, respirators, and negative air scrubbing machines do much of the work. Materials must be cut down, double bagged, and disposed of at designated locations in specific landfills. Crew must remove suites, shower, and clean their tools in three chambers of this containment zone before entering and exiting the work area, every time. Well, how many times must crew enter and exit in a day… at least 5-10 times in an 8 hour work day. Sounds like that 1 day job has turned into a 5 day job. Further, each wall, floor, and ceiling cavity must be wiped, and vacuumed with a special HEPA vacuum in order to ensure no dust was left behind. Plan for $7,000 to $10,000 costs by the time you’re done.
Now that you’re thoroughly petrified of Asbestos, give us a call, and find out how we reduce impact, remediation costs, and modify renovation plans to work in and around asbestos, without breaking the bank.
Next week, let’s talk about how mold works.
Sean M. Hogan CAIB, CRM, WRT, FSRT, AMRT
Start to Finish Construction Ltd.
#3-1385 Stevens Road
West Kelowna BC V1Z 2S9
Full movie is available at: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz8IFlfcBZ0oM2NQRVFOdC1xX28/edit?usp=sharing
100 years ago asbestos became known as a magic mineral and the use of millions of tons of asbestos created a very profitable industry. And for almost as long, the industry has known that asbestos is extremely dangerous to people.
The documentary is part of the international awarded series “Late Lessons from Early Warnings” which explores how we have been able to respond to warnings about the hazards posed by some of the greatest technological innovations of the last century.
We have not always been that successful.
Directed and produced by Jakob Gottshau, Express TV Production
Photography: Michael Daugaard
Film Editing: Jesper Osmund
Music: Niels Mosumgaard
Narration: Brian Patterson
Year of Production: 2006