Costs of Asbestos Testing and Asbestos Removal In St Louis Mo
Right now, 52 percent of Americans are living in homes built prior to 1979, and unfortunately, that means millions of us could be exposed to asbestos in the very place we should feel the safest.
When tucked securely in the insulation behind our walls, asbestos fibers pose little threat to our family?s health. However, the moment we start a home improvement or remodeling project, and any tiles, shingles or insulation are disturbed, those tiny particles escape into the air and find a home in our lungs each time we inhale.
If your aging home in St. Louis or the Metro East is in need of repairs, before you lift a hammer, you need to reach out to an experienced asbestos inspector to have them test for the carcinogen. And if asbestos is found, to partner with an asbestos removal company who can safely rid your house of one of the most lethal materials hiding inside.
The Asbestos Danger Zones in Your Home
Before the 1980s, asbestos, a naturally-occurring group of materials, was a standard additive in many homebuilding supplies because it was resistant to heat and did not conduct electricity. While most homeowners associate asbestos with insulation, it can be found in any of the following materials:
– Textured, popcorn and tiled ceilings
– Vinyl floor tiles, textiles and composites
– Roofing and shingles
– Window caulk
– Spray coating on walls, beams and columns
– Thermal pipe insulation
– Drywall and plaster
While medical research in the 1930s linked the inhalation of asbestos to a number of health conditions, including persistent cough, fatigue, and most frightening of all, mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer, the U.S. government failed to enact any legislation on banning its use in the construction field until the 1970s.
The Two Types of Asbestos Impacting St. Louis Homeowners
According to the American Cancer Society, there are two types of asbestos found in homes that can put you at greater risk for lung cancer:
Chrysotile asbestos fibers, or white asbestos fibers, wrap themselves up into spiral or serpentine formations, giving them the flexibility to be easily woven into fire-resistant materials like insulation. Up to 95 percent of the asbestos found in homes is of the chrysotile variety. Because of the frequency by which this asbestos was used, it?s most associated with the diagnosis of mesothelioma.
Amphibole asbestos fibers are needle-like?sharp, straight and brittle. It?s more commonly found in denser construction materials, including cement, tiles, roofing, and gaskets, and is considered the more hazardous of the two asbestos options.
How to Test for Asbestos ? Where Can Asbestos Exposure Happen?
Even though most Americans know asbestos is a health risk, most never give it a second thought until a loved one is suffering from the side effects of exposure. It?s not a surprise?asbestos is odorless and tasteless, and because the particles are so minuscule, we have no idea how much we are breathing in day after day until the coughing and shortness of breath start.
While DIY asbestos testing kits are available, they?re not entirely reliable as they only test a small material or dust sample, and in some states, it?s even illegal to handle the sample removal yourself. The only sure-fire way to determine if your family is at risk to hire a professional asbestos inspector in St. Louis. A team of on-site specialists will perform a careful inspection of your home, not only testing the aging construction materials within it, but monitoring the air that flows throughout it. If asbestos is found and abated, the inspector will need to come back after the project to ensure the safety of the air quality.
Asbestos Testing Cost
In the St. Louis region, a professional asbestos inspection can cost in the hundreds, depending on the home?s size, age and amount of potentially hazardous materials. Yet, it?s incredibly accurate and reliable, and because the inspector is in your home, they can provide you with a clear understanding of the results, safety steps you should take to protect your family, and recommendations for asbestos removal companies in the area. Even more important, it protects you against any exposure to asbestos when pulling samples for an off-site lab yourself.
The choice between DIY and expert testing comes down to overall safety. When the health of your home and everyone inside is threatened, this is no time to take shortcuts. Paying for results you can trust today prevents the heartache of a cancer diagnosis tomorrow.
How an Asbestos Removal Company Can Protect Your Family
If an evaluation does uncover the existence of asbestos, the next step is to hire an experienced St. Louis asbestos removal company to safely rid your home of the carcinogen.
Although the Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) has strict guidelines regarding the removal, labeling and disposal of asbestos, federal law doesn?t mandate that companies removing asbestos in single-family homes be trained or accredited, although state laws differ between Missouri and Illinois. To guarantee the best results, it?s essential to partner with a qualified, licensed asbestos abatement professional with the reviews to back up their work.
In some cases, if the asbestos is in an area where further damage is unlikely to happen, the contractor may recommend the encapsulation of the material, meaning a sealant is applied over its surface to prevent any asbestos particles from escaping. Or, for a quick fix, the asbestos can be enclosed behind a physical barrier, such as drywall, but in the event that wall is damaged, fibers can escape and head for the rest of the home.
To ensure the safety of your family members, asbestos removal is often the best step as it?s permanent and requires no further maintenance. The properly removal of asbestos by a contractor requires them to follow three important steps while respecting all safety precautions:
- Isolate the danger zone. Protecting the lungs of the abatement team members and the homeowners alike from loose fibers stirred up in the removal process demands a regulated work area. The contractor will seal off the room and air ducts, turn off the HVAC system, and place plastic across any surfaces not being treated for asbestos.
- Strip the home of asbestos. Technicians will remove any building materials containing asbestos, seal them inside asbestos disposal waste bags, and remove the bags from the home using a waste decontamination unit.
- Screen the air. Once all the material has been completely removed, asbestos removal technicians will wipe down all surfaces and use a HEPA vacuum throughout the home to capture any particles that have escaped into the air. The asbestos inspector will return to test the air one last time to ensure the home is safe for the family to return to.
Asbestos Removal Cost
?Like asbestos testing, the price of asbestos removal varies from company to company. Because asbestos exposure is so dangerous, all proper precautions have to be taken, including the training of technicians, the use of EPA-approved equipment, and containment of the work area. Not surprisingly, these labor and material costs can be major asbestos services cost factors and can add up for the homeowner, especially if the project is particularly large or in an inconvenient area, like the roof.
In St. Louis, rates can run from the hundreds into the thousands, but the truth is, once asbestos is discovered, you really have no choice. If you have to move in the future, you cannot sell your home without disclosing or fixing the issue. And worse, you?re placing your loved ones in danger once the contaminated area of your home begins to crumble with age. With more than 3,000 Americans diagnosed with mesothelioma each year, the risk is just too great to take.
Finding and Hiring the Best Asbestos Testing and Asbestos Removal Companies in St. Louis
When you discover your home is overrun with asbestos, you want it out of your home as soon as possible. Just don?t panic?instead, take your time a find a reputable asbestos testing and asbestos abatement company you can trust. Although many companies say they can remove asbestos, it?s more important to hire a professional who takes every step to remove it safely. While they may not be the cheapest contractor on the block, those licensed companies that follow EPA guidelines are also more likely to make your family?s safety their highest priority.
To learn more about your options for asbestos removal and to get a free estimate, contact the asbestos abatement experts at ABC Contracting in St. Louis today at 314-582-3611.