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Peter Patkos
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Peter Patkos
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Don't Compound the Hazard When Hiring an Asbestos Contractor

October 31, 2013 3:30 am

The discovery of hazardous material like asbestos lurking in one's home is disturbing enough. Homeowners in this situation can get it resolved without compounding the problem by hiring an improper or unscrupulous contractor to do the work.

The Alvarado Group of Madison, WI recently posted some good advice from Gary Mason, a Wisconsin Registered Home Inspector. Mason says if you think asbestos may be in your home, don’t panic, usually asbestos material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers.
There is no danger unless the asbestos is disturbed, fibers are released and then inhaled. Mason also offers these tips for homeowners considering a corrective-action contractor:

-Before work begins, get a written contract specifying the work plan, cleanup, and the applicable federal, state and local regulations which the contractor must follow (such as notification requirements and asbestos disposal procedures).

-Assure that the contractor avoids spreading or tracking asbestos dust into other areas of your home by sealing off the work area using plastic sheeting and duct tape - also turn off the heating and air conditioning system.

-Insist that the contractor apply a wetting agent to the asbestos material with a hand sprayer - wet fibers do not float in the air as easily as dry fibers and will be easier to clean up.

-Make sure the contractor does not break removed material into smaller pieces. This could release asbestos fibers into the air.
At the end of the job, get written assurance from the contractor that all procedures have been followed.

-Upon completion, assure that the contractor cleans the area well with wet mops, wet rags, sponges and/or HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaners. A regular vacuum cleaner must never be used.

-Air monitoring to make sure there is no increase of asbestos fibers in the air, and to assure that the contractor’s job is done properly. This should be done by someone not connected with the contractor.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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