If you find asbestos in your home or a commercial building you might own, it's important that you understand some basic facts about this material and its removal or containment. Asbestos is not commonly found in homes and buildings today as its use has been strictly regulated if not outlawed for certain applications and construction projects, but it may still be present in older homes and buildings. If you should find asbestos in a place you own, note a few questions you might have and then discuss these with an asbestos removing contractor if you need more information.
1. Is asbestos safe if it's on the roof or in roofing materials?
You might assume you have little chance of exposure to asbestos if it's on the roof or in roofing materials, since you typically may not spend much if any time on or near the roof of your home or commercial building. However, note that asbestos becomes dangerous when it becomes airborne and you then breathe in the fibers. If a roof is old and weathered and more likely to have the shingles or other materials crumble, this might bring the asbestos with it. If the roof is no longer watertight, leaking water might also bring asbestos fibers in the home or your commercial building. Have a contractor examine the roof and consider having it replaced if this is where you find asbestos in your building.
2. Can asbestos only be removed by a licensed professional?
A small amount of bonded asbestos can be removed by a homeowner provided you dispose of it at a licensed facility that accepts asbestos; you cannot simply bury it or toss it out with your regular trash. However, considering how dangerous asbestos is and the strict regulations regarding its disposal, it's often best that it be removed by a licensed asbestos removalist even if you've only found a small amount.
3. Is it a legal requirement that asbestos be removed if found?
It is not legally required that you remove asbestos, but consider that a commercial building that contains asbestos must have the material reviewed and inspected regularly, to note if it's coming loose and becoming a hazard. Note too that business owners may be liable for any health risks or damage to their health suffered by workers exposed to asbestos. As a homeowner, you may also want to consider if any renovation or other such work might disturb the asbestos and, in turn, pose a risk to your own health.
For more information, contact companies like McMahon Services.