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Asbestos Abatement and Removal

Asbestos is a potentially dangerous product and must be handled by specialists. Prior to 1990 over 3,000 products containing asbestos were used in various aspects of property construction. WorkSafe BC regulations stipulate that a professionally trained and qualified person must inspect the site to identify any asbestos that may be handled, disturbed, or removed. If you are undertaking renovations on an older property then you should first have it examined for the use of asbestos.

 

Asbestos is a hazardous material that it is not dangerous unless it is disturbed, which can cause very fine asbestos fibres (up to 200 times thinner than a human hair) to be released into the atmosphere - and these fibres can stay suspended in the air for many hours. There is a high probability of encountering asbestos-containing materials when renovating or demolishing older properties. Workers involved in demolition work being carried out on properties that contain asbestos must wear protective clothing and equipment to avoid potentially serious health problems resulting from the inhalation of asbestos fibres.

 

Potential sources of Asbestos in older properties

Asbestos is extremely fire resistant, and was used in areas of a property that were considered as fire risks, although it was also used in areas where you might not normally associate with asbestos.

A checklist of some of the places where asbestos may have been used in older properties:

 

  • Roofing felt and shingles
  • Asbestos cement in roof gutters
  • Exterior deck under-sheeting
  • Exterior wall stucco
  • Soffit board cement or insulating material
  • Exterior wall board siding or undersheeting
  • Downpipes may contain asbestos cement
  • Window putty
  • Loose 'blown in' loft insulation
  • Textured/stippled coating for walls and ceilings
  • Gypsum board filling compound
  • Wall & ceiling patching and joint compounds
  • Backing behind recessed lights
  • Acoustic tiles
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Linoleum floor sheeting
  • Flooring adhesives
  • Artificial logs and ashes in a fireplace
  • Wood stove heat reflector
  • Fireplace hearth underpad
  • Electrical wiring insulation
  • Main Fuse Box flash guards for each fuse
  • Boiler and furnace main insulation
  • Boiler and furnace pipe insulation
  • Boiler door and gasket covers
  • Furnace duct tape

 

WorkSafeBC Video on Asbestos