Lexwin Realty LLC

Greater Boston Real Estate Company   (781) 367-8522   info@lex-win.com


Why asbestos has to be removed?

Asbestos was considered a very effective and affordable material and was used for acoustic and thermal insulation because of its fire-retardant qualities. The main period of usage of Asbestos was from the beginning of the 1940s to the late 1970s. Nowadays we know that being exposed to Asbestos and its fibers for a long time may result in a serious disease of the lungs. If Asbestos is agitated it any way, it sets out minute fibers with abrasive qualities which are quite easy to inhale. These minute fibers severely damage the tissue of your lungs and may be the cause for lung cancer.

The main usage of Asbestos in buildings dating before 1975 was as to insulate thermally pipes or boilers in basements. However, before scientists found out how bad it is for people’s health, Asbestos has already been used in a number of materials and building activities as following:
• Insulation for attics (Blown-in type)
• Tiles for floor (Vinyl type)
• Glue for attaching the tiles to wooden or concrete surfaces
• Glaze for windows
• Caulk for windows
• Various linoleum types
• Materials for roofs building (most often for flat-type roofs, rarely for shingles, too)
• Insulations from dust for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (most often the form of these insulations is flat paper or corrugated)
• Material for Siding
• Plaster
• Siding for fiber cement (The usual proportions are thickness 1/8’’ and brittle 8’x4’)
• Heavy corrugated duty panels with size 8’x4’
• In different paints.

If in a building there is Asbestos, it may not be dangerous for your health if its condition is good. Usually it will set off fibers only if you disturb it, so if it is in a good condition, better leave it where it is without undertaking anything, as you may create a dangerous situation from nothing. The actual problem is where there is Asbestos that has been disturbed in the past and is now damaged. Have in mind that if the Asbestos crumbles if you hold it or has ever been sanded into powder, scraped or sewed, it will probably be in the condition of releasing fibers and harming you. If you find out, or have some suspicion, that there is Asbestos somewhere in your building, you will need to make sure regularly that there are no abrasions, tears or water damage. If you come across Asbestos material that looks damaged, make sure the access to this part of the building is limited.

If the Asbestos is severely damaged or you are starting repairs or modification in the building and they can disturb the material, you will need to contact specialist who will remove it professionally and without causing any damage. Your first action, however, should be to find a company offering industrial hygiene services and ask them to survey the troublesome area. The testing should include analysis of samples collected from the material and precise visual inspection. You will receive a report that evaluates the situation and recommends further actions. Having the inspector’s report, you can go to a company that deals with Asbestos and discuss the options.

There are two ways to repair Asbestos – to enclose (cover) it or to encapsulate (seal) it. Encapsulation/sealing is carried out by treating Asbestos with the help of a sealant, which binds the fibers of the Asbestos together or coats it so that the fibers cannot be set off. This method is used to repair the insulation of boilers, furnace and pipes. Enclosure/covering is carried out by wrapping or jacketing the Asbestos with protective materials that won’t allow the fibers to be released.

When repaired in any of these two ways, the Asbestos is not removed – it remains where it is. To repair Asbestos is the more affordable solution, but if some day you need to remove it, the procedure will be more difficult and expensive than usual.If you need more information regarding Asbestos, its repair or removal, don’t hesitate to contact the agency for environmental affairs in your state and keep in mind that if the company keeps all the regulations, the asbestos can be handled without causing any trouble.