If you’re planning on renovating your home or business and the building was built before 1980, you may be at risk to asbestos exposure. Asbestos was used as an insulator for popcorn ceilings, vinyl tile flooring, pipe coverings, roof coatings, and certain wall insulation along with many others. Asbestos can be an undetected killer. As long as it’s sealed within whatever structure it’s used in, it’s harmless. But when asbestos is disturbed during renovation, the airborne fibers can lead to a variety of deadly health problems if breathed in such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.
In order to insure your home is secure, you have to make sure and test your home for asbestos before you begin any kind of construction project. Asbestos testing is required for certain types of businesses before renovation. But it’s recommended for any time you’re renovating a building and there could be concerns about asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers are thinner than human hair, so sending samples so an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified laboratory to test for asbestos is important to find out if your building is at risk for asbestos exposure and if you’ll need to take the steps to remove the asbestos.
Although it is illegal in some states, it is possible to conduct collecting of asbestos samples for testing yourself in others. Always make sure to check your specific state’s guidelines and consider hiring a professional asbestos testing company if you feel like the project may pose too much of a risk.
Steps for Asbestos Testing
Asbestos testing starts with identifying the areas where asbestos could be found. The EPA has a list of examples of structures that could contain asbestos. Before you start, make sure to gather the proper equipment such as:
- Protective equipment (disposable rubber gloves, face masks, coveralls, and shoe covers)
- Removal tools (utility knife, pliers, and a chisel)
- Disposal equipment (vacuums, ziploc bags, and garbage bags)
- Cleaning supplies (a spray bottle, disinfectant, paint, and wet wipes)
- Certified testing kit (ABC Environmental Contracting Services offers kits you can purchase)
Once you have taken the proper safety precautions, you can begin the asbestos testing process. Make sure to avoid any cleaning or distributing of the suspected area before you begin. And make sure you don all the proper safety equipment. Always keep in mind that diy asbestos testing can be very dangerous and ineffective if done improperly.
- Step One: You must first lay plastic sheeting in the area you’re working in so you can collect any asbestos dust. Spray the entire area with water so the humidity rises and the dust settles.
- Step Two: Use a knife or chisel to take out the sample you wish to test. Mist the isolated area you’re taking the sample from properly with water. The sample should be between 5 and 100 grams and you should be careful not to touch it.
- Step Three: Use pliers to transfer the sample into a sealed zip-lock bag. Use a wet wipe on the pliers to prevent transfer of the asbestos fibers and put the wipe in the bag as well.
- Step Four: Seal the zip-lock bag and label it with the date, where the sample was collected, and what it contains. Put the zip-lock bag in another zip-lock bag and make sure to mist the air again to settle any leftover dust.
- Step Five: Make sure to dispose of the plastic sheeting you used in a garbage bag and completely clean and vacuum the area. Make sure to be thorough in your cleaning and dispose of any disposable equipment you used. Paint back over the spot you disturbed.
Call a Professional Asbestos Testing Company
Conducting asbestos testing safely and accurately is important to make sure you know what steps you need to take, if any, before you renovate your home or business. This can be an incredibly risky task to take on yourself. So it is highly recommended for you to hire a professional asbestos testing company to do the process for you. ABC Environmental offers asbestos testing for the Wentzville, MO area. Learn more about their emergency asbestos testing services by going to https://abcenviroteam.com/asbestos-testing/ to get a free quote or calling (314) 668-1509.