Asbestos is commonplace in both residential and commercial properties in the United States, especially in the northeast. A majority of homes and commercial establishments in New England were built before 1970 and, as such, harbor many asbestos construction materials in their walls. However, regardless of the type of property you own, hiring an abatement crew to remove or remediate asbestos is vital. Though, to better prepare, it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between residential and commercial asbestos abatement.
Residential Asbestos Abatement Process
Both residential and commercial asbestos abatement requires an initial inspection and risk assessment, and although similar steps are required for each, the job prep varies. For residential asbestos abatement, the premises typically require evacuation. If the areas affected by asbestos are small, residents may be permitted to remain in certain areas of the home. Still, for most cases, the property is evacuated by the inhabitants for at least 48 hours while the asbestos is removed and air decontaminated. Once there are below 0.01 fibers per cubic centimeter of air, residents may return.
Commercial Asbestos Abatement Process
The abatement process is similar for bother residential and commercial, but there are a few notable differences in the way the work is approached:
- Businesses Can Remain Operational: An abatement crew can seal off the affected areas with a “critical barrier,” which is defined by OSHA as one or more layers of plastic sealed over the openings of a work area. By preventing the spread of asbestos fibers, staff can continue work.
- Longer Abatement Timetable: If a business remains operational, the abatement team has to take extra precautions to prevent asbestos exposure to inhabitants in other parts of the building. As such, this can add days or weeks to the abatement process.
- Larger Scale of Work: Asbestos removal of commercial properties tends to be of a much larger scale than residential, making it more complicated and expensive.
While commercial asbestos removal takes a great deal longer, the removal company must take its time with the abatement to avoid subjecting on-site employees to asbestos exposure.
The difference between residential and commercial asbestos abatement mostly comes down to the timing and complexity more than the process itself. Regardless, no matter which property you own, you must entrust this type of work to an expert company. At Fiber Control, Inc., our team is experienced at both residential and commercial removal of asbestos, as well as several other hazardous materials. If you want to rid your property of asbestos in the safest way imaginable, contact us today.