Why You Shouldn’t Renovate A Home Built Before 1990 Without Testing For Asbestos
DIY or do-it-yourself activities are a great test of creativity and an excellent opportunity to overcome economic constraints. They can also be a therapeutic or fun leisure activity. However, as the DIY craze catches on and with more information about different technical tasks and jobs readily available on the internet, many believe almost any project can be completed swiftly and economically as a DIY, even the renovation of an older home.
You must especially avoid DIY renovations on a home built before 1990. Most of these houses are likely to have asbestos, and knocking down existing walls can disturb these harmful particles. To give you an idea of how bad things could get for you on your own, Advanced Remediation Solutions has explained why attempting DIY renovation of old homes is risky and best left to the professionals.
1. Long term health concerns
Asbestos fibers, when disturbed, are easily inhaled and carried into the lower regions of the lung, where they can cause fibrotic lung disease (asbestosis) and changes in the lining of the chest cavity. This can lead to reduced respiratory function and eventually even death. Inhalation of asbestos fibers also increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. Enlargement of the heart is another problem that could occur as an indirect effect of the increased blood flow resistance through the lungs.
2. Once disturbed, asbestos is complex and expensive to remove
If you want to install spotlights and a bathroom fan on the home’s main floor, you may cut through the ceiling, compromising the vapor barrier, and see something that looks like sparkly cat litter pour out of the opening. This is asbestos-containing vermiculite, which at one time was used to insulate a lot of attics. If this occurs, instead of spending the budgeted amount on the home’s renovation, you’ll end up spending several thousand dollars just for the clean-up of the space, as it is now a hazardous area. Taking samples of the materials used in the building and testing for asbestos before starting renovation will allow you to deal with the issue in a manner that saves you resources and ultimately keeps you safe.
Do things right - Hire a professional
To tackle asbestos problems in your home on your own, you will need basic handyman skills, as you will need to construct a poly containment with a decontamination area. It also wouldn’t hurt to have prior experience and an understanding of what you need for equipment and how to create negative airflow inside the containment that could either boost or hamper your progress. Similarly, knowledge of decontamination procedures, understanding of how to use specialized personal protective equipment, and other safety precautions are absolutely essential.
While DIY home renovation does not necessitate a license and the removal of asbestos in your home yourself is not against any regulation or law, hiring the appropriate contractors is a must. They know the administrative and engineering controls and the protective equipment needed to remove asbestos materials safely. Additionally, all asbestos removal professionals need to be certified as asbestos abatement technicians.
That said, seeking professional help in dealing with asbestos comes with multiple advantages that are hard to ignore. For one, most hazardous material removal companies offer detailed pricing and implementation plans that address the scope of the abatement.
Asbestos abatement charges can vary widely depending on the multiple factors, like getting a couple of asbestos tapes removed from your furnace ducting can cost anywhere from six to eight hundred dollars. And, eliminating vermiculite from your attic can run at a minimum of fifteen thousand dollars, not including the cost of third-party environmentalists.
If you are worried about professional asbestos abatement expenses, it is wise to shop around and get multiple estimates. It is also a good idea to request a detailed scope of their services to know exactly what to expect and pick the one you feel will do the best work.
To handle asbestos-related tasks correctly, you need an abatement contractor, not a renovator. Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the company you choose and whether they do their own abatement work or rely on sub-contracted labor that increases costs and complications.
For hazardous materials removal in Edmonton, Alberta, reach out to Advanced Remediation Solutions. We are experts in removing mold safely and have over fifteen years of experience improving our clients’ air quality. Our services include remediation, mold testing, mold removal, asbestos abatement, asbestos removal, asbestos testing, and hazardous material removal.