So the question I often get is “what exactly is asbestos abatement?” Abatement, which also means to diminish or remove is used several different ways. Depending on the placement and circumstances of the asbestos will determine how much and which process will be used to remove it. A good example of a partial asbestos abatement procedure would be if a wall was known to contain asbestos but left alone because of other factors. One well known possibility is that the asbestos was now encapsulated. This means that it is present in a room but unable to be disturbed and released airborne. Typically, asbestos materials have been remodeled without knowing about the asbestos. A contractor may have laid drywall materials over the substance making it now not able to be disrupted. If it cannot be brushed up against or any other type of movement, it will no longer be able to be released into the air where it could potentially be inhaled. Areas where asbestos is fully exposed would require total asbestos abatement and must be completely removed.
The initial asbestos removal process starts with asbestos testing. I’m totally aware that you can buy an asbestos testing kit as a sort of “do it yourself” project. They are actually pretty cheap and available at your local hardware store. The only problem is that you are potentially handling hazardous materials and might not be aware that you have stirred up the asbestos and now made it airborne. Asbestos fibers move quickly once they have been disturbed and you most likely will not be able to see them with your naked eye. Inhaling the substance is now a threat to everyone near the potential deadly substance. In my opinion, hire the professional that is experienced with handling asbestos. It would certainly be worth the extra dollars to know that my family or co workers were completely out of harms way and not exposed to asbestos. Obviously, the cost of the asbestos testing procedure will be determined on how many areas that are possibly containing the dangerous substance. Most professional asbestos testing and asbestos abatement companies will provide free, no obligation estimates for you upon request.
Personally, I cannot stand popcorn ceilings and whenever I come across them in a remodel project, they are the first to be removed. It is true that not all popcorn ceilings actually contain asbestos. The only way to trust that they don’t contain asbestos is to have them tested. Again, I would recommend the professionals in this scenario as well. The rule of thumb is that if the home ceiling was sprayed in the early 1970’s, it will most likely have the asbestos materials within it. However, being that asbestos products were still being put into building materials, law suits for popcorn ceilings were battled out in court for homes that were built up to 2003. Some how, the asbestos was able to sold even though the substance was banned by the government back in 1983. Thank goodness they don’t use asbestos in the construction of pools. Some things just make you wonder.
Keep in mind that the cost of asbestos removal is not the only cost you will incur if it’s found you have the dangerous substance. Once the asbestos is removed, there will be remediation fees. Let’s use the popcorn ceiling as an example. During the asbestos removal process of a ceiling, water is often used to loosen the substance. This will cause the ceiling to now need repairs, retexturing and putting a fresh coat of paint. The removal of asbestos on a popcorn ceiling is a very messy one and if you are not careful, you can ruin some flooring in the process. It’s always extremely important that the floor is carefully taped off so it doesn’t encounter the falling asbestos from the ceiling. If flooring is not protected in the asbestos removal process, it may require to be removed as well.
Fees for asbestos removal or asbestos abatement can creep up at a rapid pace. That is simply because there are so many required items that need to be used in removing the dangerous substance. Some of the items are basic and you wouldn’t think that they are expensive but an asbestos removal contractor is forced to purchase specific industry supplies from approved vendors. We can take a quick look of just the basics here:
- Specialty protective eye ware
- Coveralls that are disposable
- Breathing respirators
- Disposable gloves
- HEPA vacuum
- Non contamination storage bags for removal
There are obviously many other items needed to perform the asbestos abatement job but this gives a quick overview of how the cost can sky rocket quickly.
Do your research when choosing an asbestos abatement company. Like I said earlier, most professional companies will provide you with a detailed complimentary estimate. I have done quite a few asbestos removal projects here in southern Nevada and I highly recommend the folks over at Las Vegas Environmental Pros. Not only do they do asbestos testing and asbestos removal, they handle all sorts of hazardous items. Water damage clean up, hazardous waste removal, fire damage clean up, mold removal and lead based paint removal are services that they offer. They serve the entire Las Vegas area including, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Green Valley, Anthem, Red Rock, Mountains Edge, Southern Highlands, Boulder City, Laughlin and Mesquite.