You may have heard of building damage or destruction releasing asbestos into the air. A commonly cited incident was the asbestos in the twin World Trade Centers that became a fine powder upon their fire and collapse. However, other events are more recent, such as a fire in a Toronto high school that released previously discovered asbestos into the air. In this article, we’re going to look at the situations that cause asbestos to be considered safe to leave in place and the risks they run.
Why Would Asbestos Be Considered Safe?
In older buildings – specifically those made before the 1990s – the chance of asbestos being present increases. Your building may have been inspected and found to contain asbestos that is considered “safe,” that is asbestos-containing materials (ACM) that is intact and contained, especially if it’s in a non-friable state. If asbestos was detected that needed to be managed, it might have been decided to use encapsulation over removal due to time or budgetary constraints.
Potential Risks for Leaving Asbestos in Place
Under ideal circumstances, if the asbestos is intact or has been properly encapsulated, the risk of asbestos exposure is minimal. However, the presence of asbestos in your home can be dangerous if certain incidents or projects occur, as well as potential drawbacks to the property as a whole.
- Building Damage or Destruction: By far, the biggest risk to property that contains asbestos is the damage or destruction of the property.
- Demolition: Either due to damage or partial destruction like above, or to rebuild the property, demolition requires the removal of asbestos prior to any work.
- Renovation: Prior to any remodeling, plans must be reviewed to make sure that the asbestos will not be disturbed. Extra monitoring and safety should occur during the project.
- Leasing or Selling: If you’re looking to sell or lease the property, it’s important to disclose the presence of asbestos, which in turn can lead to fewer applicants and lower prices.
If you have asbestos present in your home or business – even it if is considered safe – it’s important to know that the risks are often greater and that the long-term costs will be equal to keeping it safely contained. If you’re in Massachusetts or New Hampshire and need asbestos inspection and abatement, Fiber Control, Inc. can help. Contact us today.