Why The Removal Of Asbestos Or Mouldy Building Material Should Not Be a DIY Project
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 or teardown of an older home.
In reality, suppose you’re planning a renovation of a home built before 1990. In that case, you have much to consider before knocking down existing structures and disturbing any existing building materials. To give you an idea of how bad things could get for you on your own, Power Environmental/Power Vac Services has explained why attempting DIY asbestos and mould projects are risky and best left to the professionals.
1. Long-term health concerns
The effects of long-term unsafe asbestos exposure are well documented. Asbestos fibres are easily inhaled and carried into the lower regions of the lung, where they can cause chronic lung disease (asbestosis) and changes in the lining of the chest cavity. These diseases can lead to reduced respiratory function and death. Long-term inhalation of asbestos fibres also increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. Enlargement of the heart can also occur as an indirect effect of the increased blood flow resistance through the lungs.
2. Once disturbed, asbestos is complex and expensive to remove
For example, you want to install spotlights and a bathroom fan on the home’s main floor. You cut through the ceiling, compromising the vapour barrier, and see something that looks like sparkly cat litter pour out of the opening. This could be asbestos-containing vermiculite, which at one time was used to insulate a lot of attics. Instead of spending the budgeted amount on the home’s renovation, you end up spending several thousand dollars just for the clean-up. This money could have been used to plan a safer and more cost-effective project. 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 time, resources and ultimately keeps you safe.
Do things right - Hire a professional
Suppose you are considering tackling asbestos problems in your home on your own, without professional assistance. In that case, you will need proper abatement quality equipment to control the spread of fibers and to subsequently clean up after the removal, knowledge of decontamination procedures and an understanding of how to use specialized personal protective equipment. Knowledge of other safety precautions is also absolutely essential.
While DIY home renovation and the removal of asbestos in your home is not against any regulation or law, it is most definitely not advisable. Contractors who do this work must know the regulations, the engineering controls and the protective equipment needed to remove asbestos materials safely. Additionally, all workers do need to be trained as asbestos abatement technicians. Most importantly, specialty insurance is required for contractors doing this type of work as it is not covered under contractor general liability insurance.
Seeking professional help in dealing with asbestos or mould comes with multiple advantages that are hard to ignore. For one, most hazardous material removal companies offer detailed implementation plans that address the scope of the abatement. Pricing for removal of these materials varies depending on multiple factors. The type and quantity of material to be removed, what else has to be protected in the area, and what access is like to the material all play a factor in the pricing. Power Environmental can work with you to find the most cost effective and safest way to complete your project.
For asbestos abatement, mould remediation, duct cleaning and more in Hamilton, Ontario and the surrounding area, reach out to Power Environmental/Power Vac Services. We are experts in addressing airborne and potential airborne contaminants in industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential facilities. We are trusted and recommended by many building contractors for mould and asbestos services, as well as many heating and air conditioning contractors for cleaning of HVAC systems. We are proud to have been doing what we do for our clients and partners for over fifty years.
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