What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the name used to describe a group of six naturally occurring minerals that are made of unique fibrous material - fibres that are composed of millions of microscopic sized “fibrils." Asbestos is commonly referred to by colour - blue asbestos; brown asbestos; green asbestos; and white asbestos. The fibres are extremely strong, and highly resistant to heat, fire, and friction.
Relevant for today are the various applications and uses of asbestos in the past. And here, the use and application of asbestos-based products reflects the unique properties of the mineral.
- asbestos-based roofing material/cladding
- insulation materials for thermal protection
- sprayed wall surfaces and textured ceilings
- insulation around piping and heating units
- vehicle mechanics like brakes and clutches
- various textiles, flooring tiles, drain piping
Additionally, asbestos was also used in the manufacture of household items, like ironing board covers, oven gloves, and even fire blankets. Thankfully, when the adverse health risks of asbestos were firmly established, its use was eventually stopped, and other material substituted. On the down side, there are still areas of the home that may contain asbestos (previous applications).
Today, the importation and use of most asbestos types (in raw form) is regulated and prohibited. The main problem, of course, is asbestos fibre – the long, fine fibres pose the most danger when inhaled. Here, it’s the needle-like fibres that penetrate the respiratory tract (and lungs) and are the most likely to create health problems. Workers in asbestos related industries are most prone.
While asbestos is most risky when inhaled, frequency of exposure is linked to major health issues and life threatening diseases. There could be scarring of the lung tissue, malignant tumours, and even lung cancer. As well, exposure to asbestos has been directly linked to the development of colon cancer and gastrointestinal tumours. Prohibition is a consequence of the health hazards.
In most parts of the world, asbestos is highly regulated by health/safety legislation, building code guidelines, and building material controls. Generally, asbestos-containing materials are no longer available, and asbestos use in newer buildings is not really an issue. On the other hand, old homes and buildings may still contain certain quantities of asbestos, and therefore require monitoring.
For residential homeowners, the highest risk of asbestos exposure is during a home renovation. When left undisturbed, asbestos poses little risk. However, any cutting, drilling, or sanding of asbestos-containing materials can unleash dangerous fibres. Furthermore, areas of asbestos that are exposed, damaged, or badly maintained will definitely pose a danger to occupants/residents.
Determining if a material actually contains asbestos requires testing in an accredited laboratory. A do-it-yourself approach to testing is not recommended under any circumstances. This is work for a professional who has experience and expertise handling asbestos. While leaving asbestos in its place might be one of the options, the very best approach is professional removal and disposal.
Professional Asbestos Removal
By any measure, asbestos removal is both dangerous and hazardous. And today, government legislation, industry regulations, and workplace protocol dictate the proper approach. Clearly, this is work for professionals – for those who have the right tools and equipment, as well as the know-how and expertise. Above all, safety for workers, residents and occupants must be primary.
At Matrix Remediation, asbestos removal teams follow strict operational procedures for asbestos removal. Residential or commercial, the procedures are designed to ensure effective cleanup.
- Appropriate preparation of the work area, ensuring safety
- Effective control of standing and/or airborne asbestos dust
- Industry standard personal protective equipment/clothing
- Comprehensive cleanup, including proper waste disposal
Because of the dangers of asbestos removal, operational procedures are intended to ensure compliance with rules, regulations and requirements. But clearly, asbestos removal contractors must be accountable and responsible for the work they perform and the results achieved. As well, it’s the individual work site and scope of work that will dictate specific approaches and tactics. In this regard, provincial and federal regulations oversee the various asbestos removal scenarios.
Preparation of the work area
uses an industry standard “wetting agent” to control the spread of asbestos fibers and dust. All protective coverings (like drop sheets) are disposed, and are never reused. As well, portable enclosures that have been set up are not reused once asbestos has been removed. In keeping with highly professional practices, Matrix does not use compressed air equipment.
In order to prevent the spread of standing and/or airborne asbestos fibers, Matrix teams set up a ventilating system with HEPA filters
. In addition, negative air pressure is maintained in an effort to further prevent the spread of asbestos fibers. On site, asbestos removal teams are fitted with personal protective clothing and other equipment duly approved by a health and safety agency.
Matrix Remediation are the professionals in asbestos removal. At the job site, waste is collected and removed at regular time intervals. Disposal containers are appropriately sealed, and suitably identified. Finally, all vacuum equipment is properly maintained with HEPA filters. Importantly, Matrix guarantees the results, and every project is professionally managed from start to finish.
When clients contract with Matrix, project pricing is competitive, and consultation services are included. Technicians are expertly trained, with a high level of experience, and industry certified to remediate asbestos. Removal equipment is technically state-of-the-art, assuring every client of the most comprehensive asbestos removal possible. And it all comes with a 20-year warranty.
On every project, Matrix Remediation provides an Asbestos Air Quality Test
. An independent third party performs the testing, so as to keep a high standard of objectivity between client and contractor. Large project or small, residential or commercial, Matrix expertly manages every job from start to finish, guaranteeing the most effective asbestos removal process on the market.
When it comes to asbestos removal, it’s vital for homeowners and business owners to contract a trusted and reputable remediation company. This is not the time to be cutting corners or chasing prices. Matrix Remediation are the industry professionals, with trained teams, and a guaranteed service package. For more information, visit the website at www.matrixremediation.com
or call for a no obligation consultation at 1-888-885-8683.