From the concerned to the thorough, regardless of your reasons to test your home or business for asbestos, it always helps to know what to expect. An asbestos inspection is done in two parts: a professional asbestos contractor will inspect your building for asbestos, taking samples from areas of concern and suspect materials. Secondly, those sample materials will be tested for the presence of asbestos.
What to Expect with an Asbestos Inspection
Most often an inspection is the first step in working with an asbestos remediation company, though other agents such as home inspectors might be the first to find asbestos causes for concern. When working with the remediation specialist, make sure to let them know any areas you’re concerned about and any relevant information on probable asbestos-containing materials (ACM) used in construction materials. Then the specialist will inspect areas and take samples, usually one of two ways:
- Air Sampling: Air is drawn into a cartridge that can collect airborne asbestos fibers. Both the amount of air and fibers is measured, which helps determine exposure levels.
- Material Sampling: Especially with older homes, contractors will take samples of common materials and areas asbestos may be present, determining the ACM threshold.
Asbestos Testing: Common Materials That Are Tested
The samples are taken to a lab to be tested for the presence of asbestos. If asbestos is present, the asbestos remediation specialists will walk you through your options for asbestos abatement. When getting ready for an inspection, make a list of possible ACMS that might be present in your home to make sure they get inspected. Here are a few common examples:
- Textured Ceilings: Asbestos was commonly used as an additive to create textured ceilings, particularly popcorn ceilings.
- Asbestos Flooring: Often used as a hardening and fireproofing agent, asbestos can be found in old vinyl tiles and flooring felt (the same felt can be used in roofing).
- Drywall and Joint Compound: Drywall, sheetrock, texturing, and joint compound had asbestos added to them to provide stability and fireproofing.
- Insulation: Asbestos had strong insulation and fireproofing values that could often be found as block insulation and contaminated vermiculite loose-fill insulation.
Do you have any additional question about asbestos inspections or testing? Contact the experts at Fiber Control, Inc. We’re asbestos abatement contractors, as well as Lead RRP, mold remediation, and selective demolition. Make sure to also visit our blog archives for information like when you should test for asbestos, where to look for asbestos in commercial properties, and why you can’t medically test for asbestos exposure.