Reasons Why You Should Remove Asbestos In Your Building
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Asbestos found a widespread use starting from the mid-19th century as a fire-proofing material for homes and buildings. However, in the 1970’s leading up to the next decade, studies have conclusively shown the hazards of exposure to this material, leading the world to eventually ban the materials.
Now imagine you’ve purchased your first house, a real keeper, a quaint gem constructed from an earlier time. Once the building inspection reports come in, though, it notes the presence of asbestos inside your walls. Before you start thinking twice about what to do with it, here are some reasons why you should immediately work with a Toronto asbestos removal company towards removing asbestos in your building.
But first, what is it really?
The term “Asbestos” refers to a group of six silicate minerals that occur naturally. These are defined by its composition of long, thin, fibrous crystals. Asbestos, as a material, has excellent electrical and thermal resistance. It has made it popular for creating a variety of materials, from cloth and textiles used for protection against the elements to fireproofing materials in buildings. Studies have traced the earliest uses of this material back to the Stone Age as reinforcement material for ceramics.
Unfortunately, the fibers that are carried away upon abrasion have been identified as the cause of serious, life-threatening diseases such as cancer and asbestosis, the inflammation and scarring of lung tissues due to these fibers.
It is important to note that it was used widely in building constructions up until the 70s, when its health hazards became public. Therefore, buildings erected before its decline most likely have asbestos in it.
Why Asbestos in Your Building Has to Go
There is no longer any compromise in asbestos removal in buildings. A safe or acceptable amount of asbestos does not exist, as even small amounts of it still pose risks, though limited. Here are the reasons to remove asbestos from your buildings:
1. You and Your Family’s Safety
Safety First. There’s no other way to emphasize the urgency of getting the removal of asbestos done than to clearly understand that you and your loved ones are the first people at risk. Make sure to carefully go through your removal plan as any unsupervised renovation projects could just as easily release asbestos into the air.
It is important to note that in your household, it is the children who are facing the most risk of asbestos exposure. Aside from their still-developing bodies, children are generally unaware of the dangers around them, much less the ways to protect themselves from materials like asbestos. Expect the little tykes to run and slide almost everywhere, and crashing into your asbestos-lined walls or playing in your basement exposes them without their knowledge.
Also, the current age has now made information easily accessible, making those do-it-yourself videos your companion in most home repairs that needed to be done. Take note that the health and safety risks that come with dealing with asbestos require specialized knowledge and experience. Trying to save some cash by doing it yourself may come back to you at a much heavier cost.
2. Preparation for Unexpected Events
There are a lot of ways to get asbestos in the air, and the best way is to simply get it removed. Accidentally damaging your walls, either from moving things around or from kids playing around, can be enough to set it loose and expose everyone.
Perhaps your children are all grown up, or extremely behaved. Maybe you live alone, or with your better half without any of the young ones around. Unexpected and unfortunate incidents such as fires and flooding, or acts of God like storms and tornadoes, can turn the house upside down and with it, release fibers which are otherwise tucked safely behind your walls.
Also, with its flexibility as a fireproofing material, asbestos was used pretty much everywhere. From reinforcing steel beams to concrete, to wallboard materials and roof adhesives, you might be surrounded by the material without taking notice.
3. Keep Your Property’s Value
While you might have purchased the property from its original owners, it does not guarantee that the appreciation you had for it will be the same for the next prospective buyer, given that you are all aware of the presence of asbestos. While the direct effect of its presence to the property value is speculative at best, a study has tried to generate a theoretical model on the effects of asbestos in the valuation of different types of properties. Of course, it is influenced by a variety of other variables such as the specifications of the property like the size and design, its location, and the existing market conditions. Also, removal procedures have also been theorized to create a positive tailwind for the property value.
Still, it is important for you to take note of this possible factor. Note that pre-purchase inspections for homes and buildings are a little more stringent compared to, let’s say, cars. These are more expensive investments expected for a longer term utilization. Pests and harmful materials are also checked. In Australia, for example, a finding published back in 2013 revealed that one in four homes that underwent pre-purchase inspections tested positive for asbestos.
4. It is a specialized task requiring professional service
Asbestos removal is a problem you have to face sooner or later, with later coming with dire consequences. The earlier you get rid of it, the better. However, inspection for its presence as well as the removal of it requires professional help due to the strict regulations governing the handling and treatment of this material.
To put it bluntly, asbestos removal is not cheap labor. It is an investment whose costs range from several hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the area of work and the permits and documentations required in your place. If it’s any consolation, these prices go nowhere but up, so the sooner you get it done, the more bucks you might be saving for the future.
Another area of the strict regulations regarding this hazardous material is the repercussions of trying to take asbestos removal as your next DIY project. Generally, removal of asbestos by a non-authorized individual is punishable by law. Moreover, depending on which state you are in, the punishment and procedures may vary. Asbestos removal specialists must undergo a specialized training program and take a licensure examination, which is then renewed annually.