Asbestos, Chrysotile, South Coast Air Quality Management District - SCAQMD. Read more about this below:
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral found in the earth. Due to it's properties of protecting against heat and electrical damage and it's inexpensive cost; it became the choice for many materials properties and industries used.
How is/was Asbestos used in buildings?
Asbestos was used for many years in the building trades. Some of your more common areas to find asbestos are:
• drywall and joint compound • plaster • mud and texture coats • vinyl floor tiles, sheeting, adhesives • roofing tars, felts, siding, and shingles • "transite" panels, siding, countertops, and pipes • popcorn ceilings, also known as acoustic ceilings • fireproofing • caulk • gaskets • interior fire doors • thermal pipe insulation • HVAC flexible duct connectors to name a few.
Is Asbestos dangerous?
This is a common question that is asked frequently. Simply the answer is yes. However, asbestos typically is not something that most of us come in to contact with. Asbestos and it's links to medical conditions are known but are not entirely understood. Many industrialized nations have banned the use of asbestos however this material is still used to this day and can show up in products never believed to contain asbestos fibers in them such as children's crayons. Home's in the United States do have asbestos in them that were built as late as the later part of the 1990's. Currently cement pipe is still constructed with asbestos fibers and is not a banned practice. Ultimately, no one should disturb building materials in any structure unless they have been tested for asbestos fibers.
I have Asbestos what do I do?
If you are aware that your structure contains asbestos the most important rule to understand is to never damage, destroy, disturb, alter, modify, cut, and abrade any building material. In other words leave it completely alone. If a structure requires repairs due to a flood, fire, mold damage, earth quake, vandalism or any other means for damage it is best to have a professional remediator to resolve the mitigation of the materials so as to prevent the possibility of exposure and contamination to the remaining areas of the property.
Will my insurance pay for my Asbestos removal?
This question is best suited to your agent. However, it is reasonable to assume that if a property qualifies for insurance coverage then so too should the issue of asbestos awareness such as actual testing of the materials and their abatement.
How can I find a fair and professional remediation contractor?
All asbestos abatement contractors in California are required to be licensed to handle or disturb asbestos. Keep in mind that not all contractors offer asbestos abatement services. No contractor for any reason should ever be allowed to damage building materials unless those materials have been checked for asbestos. There are many stories of unscrupulous contractors that have mislead a property owner for services either by scare tactics or some type of manipulation. The bottom line to any asbestos concern is simply no one knows for certain that asbestos materials are present unless they are examined by a licensed inspector/consultant and a licensed laboratory.
If I had Asbestos remediated how do I know they did a good job?
Let's assume that a property required repairs, maintenance or remodeling. An inspector was called in and the areas of concern were inspected and samples were evaluated for asbestos. Let's also assume that the samples contained asbestos above California's limits requiring a licensed contractor. Once the project has been completed and prior to the contractor removing any containment; the environment can and should be inspected by a consultant who will take air tests from within the work area. These samples will determine if the contractor has left the environment without the possibility of contamination to the rest of the property.
Is this all I need to know?
Always be cautious when making a decision that will impact your property. If you are dealing with asbestos, lead based paint or possibly mold you want to protect not only your health but those who may also use the property. As with any decision make sure you understand what it is that you are embarking upon. Ask questions, insist on coherent answers from your service providers and never assume what you may be dealing with. Remember that no two homes are built alike nor used exactly in the same way.