If your commercial building was built before 1978, chances are it contains asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral fiber present in rock and soil that was added to various kinds of building materials for its fire retardant properties.
Unfortunately, this material that is so helpful at reducing fire poses a serious health risk to those who work with asbestos and breathe in the microscopic fibers. Three major diseases directly linked to asbestos are:
- Mesothelioma. A rare cancer that strikes the chest, abdomen, heart, and thin linings of the lungs
- Asbestosis. A long-term, non-cancerous deterioration of lung tissue
- Lung cancer. Asbestos that is intact inside its building material doesn’t pose a health risk. However, if you’re planning to remodel your commercial property or you’ve noticed old, deteriorating materials in your building, you should immediately call a professional contractor to test for asbestos.
Where Asbestos Is Usually Located in Commercial Buildings
Due to its superior heat resistance, asbestos was added to a wide variety of construction materials. Some of these include:
- Ceiling tiles
- Textured paint
- Patching compounds
- Pipe insulation
- Flooring, especially near wood-burning stoves
- Door gaskets on furnaces
How Can I Check for Asbestos?
Unless a building material is specifically labeled as containing asbestos, you won’t be able to tell without hiring a professional contractor accredited in asbestos removal. If you see insulation or drywall that’s crumbling or ceiling tiles that are flaking away, call a professional immediately. This is when the chance for asbestos exposure is highest since crumbling building materials allow asbestos fibers to circulate in the air and lodge in the lungs. Attempting to remove these materials yourself could put you at risk of inhaling dangerous asbestos fibers. If you suspect you have exposed asbestos, leave it alone and call a professional.
How Is Asbestos Removed?
A certified contractor will collect samples of the damaged building material and send it to a lab for testing. If the material tests positive, proper asbestos removal protocols will begin, which include sealing off the affected areas, using HEPA filters to remove particles from the air, and many other procedures that are mandated by state law. In certain cases, a contractor can seal off or contain asbestos by encapsulating it, which may pose less of a health risk than removing it.
Choose Action Restoration for Asbestos Removal on the Gulf Coast
If you’re considering remodeling your commercial building or have reason to believe exposed asbestos is present, contact Action Restoration for asbestos removal services. We’ll set up a custom removal plan tailored to minimizing down time in your building while safeguarding the health of your employees. We have the tools and experience to safety and effectively remove asbestos according to your state’s specific laws, giving you peace of mind that you and your employees have a safe place to conduct business going forward.