What to Expect During Asbestos Inspection?
Asbestos is an extremely dangerous substance that should not be exposed to the public. Exposure to asbestos is hazardous and can cause immense health and safety issues. Asbestos must be removed or managed as soon as possible to avoid harm to the public. To conduct the asbestos removal process, the asbestos must first be identified. You need to contact an industrial hygiene firm to carry out the inspection if you find a suspicious substance on your building. After the inspection is carried out, the asbestos can either be removed or managed within the building away from any future exposure. If asbestos removal is required, an independent abatement contracting company should be hired to carry out safe removal of the substance.
As stated earlier, asbestos removal cannot be carried out before the inspection. The suspicious site and the substance should always be examined by a certified asbestos inspection professional. The basis of the examination must be under the rules and regulations of the government. The inspecting firm must have adequate skills, experience, government-approved license and professional liability to avoid errors in the crucial process of asbestos removal. Lapses in the judgment can cause errors that may lead to harmful consequences; hence professional liability of the abatement contracting company must be assured by the industrial hygiene firm.
Inspection is the first step of the asbestos removal process and it has several parts. Carrying out inspection includes a detailed visual examination of the suspicious site and the examination of the substance in bulk, inventory of the material, analysis in the laboratory followed up by reports and recommendations. Government rules are followed while taking the sample of the building material to confirm the existence of asbestos; the number of samples allowed to be taken depends on the legislation of the city of the country this abatement process is taking place in. Several samples are taken, oppose to only one, to make sure that a judgment isn’t made based on a sample too little. Hence it is necessary to contact a firm having the skills and the experience to avoid any mistakes in this dangerous process.
The duration of the inspection depends on the size of the affected area, a small area may take just over 2 hours but a larger building inspection can go for as long as several days. Evacuation of the building must be carried out before providing full access to the inspector so he or she can inspect each room and visit the site whenever needed. After the site work is completed, the lab analysis can be completed for 3-10 days.
The asbestos-containing material is likely to be found in the enclosed walls, floors, ceilings, or mechanical spaces. Therefore, it is always preferable to carry out the inspection without causing extensive demolition. To conduct the inspection, extraction of the material must be carried out on a small scale which is typically ½” to 1” square of material per sample. If the repair to sample locations is not carried out; aesthetic issues such as exterior sealants and roofing products can occur.
Asbestos was used extensively in construction in materials such as floor tile, gypsum board and joint compound, adhesives, ceiling tile, roofing, grout, caulking and glazing, fireproofing, thermal insulation, plaster, felt papers, siding, etc.
After the inspection is complete, a detailed report is formulated by the abatement contractor and the industrial hygiene firm. The inspection can lead to two outcomes; the removal of the substance containing asbestos or safe management of asbestos-containing building material.