If you have friable asbestos (the kind that breaks down into fibrous material that can easily become airborne) you may have to have this material removed from your home or office to ensure that you don't suffer any adverse health effects. But if this is your first experience with the process of having asbestos removed, you probably don't know what to expect. Here is a quick rundown on what will take place during the asbestos abatement.
Testing -- Even in instances in which an asbestos abatement company strongly suspects the presence of friable asbestos, technicians must still easily perform tests that will reduce any doubt and pinpoint the areas that have the heaviest infestations of friable asbestos. Asbestos removal companies use two common testing methods: polarized light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Polarized light is the most common of these testing methods as it is affordable and can differentiate asbestos from other material in your home that may have a similar composition. But the polarized light method isn't as accurate as transmission electron microscopy, which uses high end magnification that also tests the air for the presence of friable asbestos. Transmission electron microscopy is so powerful that it can detect asbestos from a rag that's been used to wipe a product that contains the hazardous material.
Removal -- After determining the presence of asbestos and where it is located, the removal process begins by removing all the furniture out of your home or office. This furniture is cleaned and vacuumed with specialized filters that suction friable asbestos fibers. In addition, all vents and openings such as doors and windows, are sealed with plastic, and the entire home or office is vacuumed with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that are designed to remove more allergens, pollens and particulates.
All visible asbestos is suctioned into these special HEPA vacuums, and then a special liquid sealant is used on all surfaces to trap any remaining asbestos fibers for a second round of vacuuming. Once that process is completed, the air and surfaces are tested again to ensure that the presence of fibers is below the limit set by local standards. It is only after the asbestos removal company (such as ASBESTOP) determines that the air quality is stabilized that they remove the plastic barriers and bring in the furniture. The asbestos that was removed is then disposed of in a designated asbestos waste facility to ensure that the public is not affected.