Asbestos Removal, Sampling and Surveys Chippenham – A4 Asbestos
A4 Asbestos have decades of experience in the surveys, sampling, removal and disposal of asbestos from buildings in Chippenham and throughout the Wiltshire. Expert advice 01249 847442
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A4 Asbestos Sampling
Before the 1980’s, asbestos was a very desirable component in many construction materials as it has many aspects that are desirable in a building material. It’s strength means it’s a good material to reinforce things like plastic and cement. Its fire resistant makes it good for things like heating tanks, which are always exposed to high temperatures. However, findings have proved that asbestos brings more harm than good, as it can cause huge health problems if the fibres that make up asbestos are inhaled. The problem with this is when asbestos is disturbed by physical force or by natural de-grading of the material; the fibres that make up the substance are released into the air. Because the particles are so small, it can be easily inhaled which causes major health issues through your respiratory system, which can cause cancer of the lungs and many other associated issues that are life threatening.
Because of these hazards, very few products contain asbestos. If anything does contain asbestos, it is either contained or treated in a way that the fibres can’t escape. Unfortunately, this wasn’t wide spread knowledge during the mass use of asbestos in the construction industry, therefore the massive phase to remove disturbed sources of asbestos which are in many domestic homes.
Sampling asbestos is an important step that should only be done by trained professionals, as it is hard to obtain a correct sample that is viable for further testing. However, we feel a list of possible testing samples is helpful but it is definitely not recommended by A4 Asbestos that you try to obtain a sample yourself. We urge people to go through a professional service like A4 Asbestos offer as you may be causing more harm than good. Asbestos wasn’t only a construction material, as its beneficial qualities made it a widespread substance in many trades. You may be surprised of the usage of asbestos as it can be found in things like old cigarette filters, vinyl flooring and even old clothing and mattresses. These are rare to find now but they can still be found in older houses, especially if an older person was living in the property before. It is very important to note, that if a product or item is found, and it is believed to contain asbestos, that it should be disposed of properly according to your local regulatory board, as improper disposal can not only cause a environmental hazard, but could be breaking the law if caught. We have comprised a list that you may find helpful, as it contains a number of items that are all possible sources of asbestos that could be in your property.
- Broken ceiling tiles are also a cause for concern as these could contain asbestos.
- Wall filler or drywall joint materials can contain asbestos. Sanding or drilling this also will create a hazard through airborne particles in the air.
- Some electrical components like wiring insulation, and electric sheets can contain asbestos as it was well insulating. These need to be disposed of properly so make sure you can dispose of these properly with your local regulatory service.
- Older mattresses, blankets, aprons and boots could have asbestos because of its fire-resistant nature. Asbestos was used due to its resilience compared to other fabrics like cotton, nylon and other materials natural or synthetic. Again, these items need to be disposed of properly according to your local regulatory board.
- Any water pipes, water tanks and boilers could be suspect as these are all plumbing components that utilise asbestos due to its insulating qualities. Damaged boilers and pipes could be incredibly hazardous so it’s important to check these as water-borne particles can pass through your system through transfer.
- Wood burning stoves could also contain asbestos, which makes improper transfer or removal incredibly hazardous as this could cause fracture and damage, which would release particles into the air.
- Soundproof material that has degraded, crumbled or been damaged can release particles into the air. Water damage can also create a hazardous space as this can still cause fibres to be released. Drilling, sanding or scraping this material will also cause a hazard.
- Any cement roofing, siding or tiles could degrade and release fibres into the air. This is an aspect to check if the building was built before 1970
- Vinyl, rubber floor tiles and asphalt are also things to look at as even the adhesive used to tack the flooring down could contain asphalt. These are easily disturbed which could cause particles to be released.
- Textured or “stippled” paints can be a source of asbestos, as this will naturally degrade as rubbing of the wall will release fibres into the air.
- Any decorative/artificial ashes or embers used to display in gas fireplaces could cause harm, as these contain asbestos.
- Old ironing board covers, fireproof gloves and fire blankets could contain asbestos. Contact your local disposal agency, as these could be illegal to dispose of without the proper regulations.
- Older hairdryers could also contain asbestos, which will also have to be disposed of properly.
Many “reinforced” plastic products contain plastic. Items like Bakelite cooking utensils, plastic jewellery, and other things comprised of PVC could contain asbestos, which can be released into the air.
For more information on our Chippenham based asbestos sampling service please telephone 01249 847442
Asbestos Survey – A4 Asbestos
Asbestos – What is it?
When we think asbestos, we think instantly think of a huge problem that isn’t healthy to have around. Throughout this post we’re going to go through what asbestos really is and talk about the possible issues it could cause you if it is present in your property.
Asbestos is a general term for a variety of mineral fibres that are often found in rock formations. Asbestos has many qualities that made it an ideal material for building construction before the introduction of man made materials that could equal asbestos. It’s durability; strength and fire resistance made it an ideal material to use especially during house construction, as it was incorporated into many products like insulation, roof tiles and wall linings.
Unfortunately, because it was integrated in so many products and substances used in construction, it means houses constructed before 1980 have a high chance of a small amount of asbestos within the perimeter. However, unless the asbestos is old and degrading, or has been disturbed, you shouldn’t have a huge problem as the best plan of action is to leave these traces of asbestos. We will delve into this later on in the post. Asbestos was also a key tool in many construction substances so it can be very hard to detect and identify structures that may have trace amounts. The only way to truly verify the presence of asbestos is to take a sample from the test area, and submit it for testing by sending it to a accredited laboratory that can make sure that it is a type of asbestos. Only then you should take action unless you have other sources indicating the property has asbestos. We will venture into testing asbestos and surveying the premise for asbestos in the future.
Asbestos – Risks?
Anyone that remotely knows about asbestos knows that it isn’t healthy for you to be breathing it in. This lends to the overall truth of the harmful factors asbestos can inhibit on humans as asbestos can cause many types of lung cancer. High amounts of asbestos fibres aren’t healthy as the fibres can become airborne which makes it easy for any person to inhale due to the size of the asbestos particles. Touching on the point brought up earlier, asbestos fibres aren’t a hazard is the substance is enclosed properly. The only time asbestos is a danger is when the fibres are disturbed, which releases the fibres into the air and can be inhaled.
Asbestos – Identifying?
Identifying asbestos isn’t as easy as spotting out a certain colour of insulation or a specific type of tile. You can’t tell by looking at them. The only way to confirm the possible source of asbestos in your home is to send it off to a lab where they can use professional equipment to verify the sample taken from your property. If you suspect you have asbestos in your home or building, then the safest thing to do is treat that possible source as if it is asbestos until you can verify it or remove it if is asbestos.
Asbestos – First Steps
The first thing you should do if you suspect the presence of asbestos in your property is to send a sample or have someone take a sample of the suspected substance. This will be sent of to a laboratory where it can be verified and will lead to a potential solution and level of removal you may have to carry out, or it could mean you have to leave it be if the suspected asbestos is sealed properly.
Professional sampling is much more safe and efficient when it is carried out by an accredited provider such as A4 Asbestos. The service they offer is second to none and has lead to hundreds of expertly carried out removals and disposals of the harmful substance. Sampling is not recommended to a non-professional as the containment of any released fibres cannot be guaranteed without the knowledge and equipment a company like A4 asbestos has. Going through a professional service has a much better chance of success through sampling and ensures a correct and viable sample rather than a “false flag” where an incorrect sample could mean the false test on an incorrect sample. The only way to make sure you have a non-asbestos contaminated area is to go through the correct checks, tests and sampling to verify the suspected areas.
Asbestos – Further Actions
If the sample has come back positive, then you need to make sure you go through the correct steps of either containment or complete removal of the substance. You’ll have to refer to a removal service like A4 asbestos removal as the process of removal or containment can only be done with years of knowledge and the correct materials and equipment.
Because asbestos was used so widely in construction materials, asbestos can be found in many different components of the common building. The presence of the asbestos will dictate how much removal must be done to render the property safe. Things that are likely to contain asbestos are – Cement roofs, cement floors, reinforced plastic products, cement gutters, water tanks, water cisterns, electric heaters, gas heaters and floor tiles. Asbestos can also be found in smaller things like putty, sealant and floor tiles.
For more information on our Chippenham based asbestos survey service please telephone 01249 847442
A4 Asbestos Removal
If you are in the market for buying a property, then you may want to consider history checks as well as safety checks throughout the building to make sure the building is safe. In the UK especially, buildings have been built with asbestos linings, as it is fire retardant. However no one knew that asbestos had such harmful effects on humans and animals alike. It’s incredibly important that asbestos is removed from any habitable places as contamination can damage you and your family’s health dramatically. There have been many cases where asbestos related health problems have been a result of exposure in the workplace, which as ultimately ended up with many asbestos related lawsuits. If you have the resources to do so, it is much more viable to remove the asbestos as fast as you can, rather than leaving it hang as contamination is only going to get worse as time goes on. Hiring a professional removal service can ensure you of a complete pre and post demolition survey, sampling of air contamination, full testing and monitoring and quality control and full assurance of removal throughout the contaminated out.
During inspection, the removal company is going to have a professional inspector as it’s going to be necessary to test most parts of the contaminated site. Due to the airborne contamination asbestos can cause, inspection is going to be the most important part as they need to make sure they are able to contain and remove the full area.
Asbestos removal companies can now offer different services such as courses to train people to be more aware of asbestos, and overall management if they ever come across it again. The trouble with asbestos is there is no easy sign apart from actual discovery. These courses aim to teach about NOA or naturally occurring asbestos sites. One of the main troubles with asbestos is when it is disturbed, as the fibres of the substance can be released into the air very quickly. The particles are very hard to refine and contain, therefore it’s “effectiveness” in transporting itself in the air. This can pose a huge health threat and hazard to humans and animals as it can be inhaled due to the size of the airborne particles. It can cause huge respiratory issues, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other forms of cancer, which is a huge issue. Hiring a professional removal company is going to ensure you get full removal and elimination of this health threat as they are going to go through tried and tested methods of removing the asbestos in your property. If you every plan on inhabiting the property, it is really in your best interest to remove any traces of asbestos as it is going to cause complication in the future.
If however, the source of asbestos hasn’t been disturbed and has been contained properly, then you may not have to go through removal asbestos is only harmful or hazardous when the fibres become airborne, which makes it incredibly prone for humans to inhale the particles. This is when asbestos is harmful as it traps itself within your respiratory system, making it incredibly hard to flush out which can cause many health issues.
The level of asbestos removal can be hard to determine without a thorough survey as asbestos was used in so many products since it had qualities that were desirable that have been replaced with many safer products in contemporary construction. Things that are more likely to contain asbestos are: Garage roofs, cement guttering, smaller cement structures, reinforced water systems like heaters, piping and associated elements like pipe insulation, floor tiles, toilet water tanks, sinks, even things like fuse boxes. This is in now way a definitive list but it does prove the point of having to verify the presence of asbestos, as it was such a widely used substance throughout construction. The fact it can cause such life shortening illnesses should be the top priority to the removal or containment of the substance, as it really isn’t something that should be left if it is airborne.
The procedure most asbestos removal companies will go through when they begin to work with your contaminated area is they will begin to survey the premise to make sure they can refer and consolidate these patches of contaminant when they come to remove it. The professional will also be taking samples so they can analyse it to confirm the substance. Structures that were built before 1980 have a very good chance of having asbestos present in the properties drywall, water, flooring, soil and house siding so it’s very important to consider these aspects when purchasing a property. An asbestos removal company will be able to determine whether your property has asbestos, and will plan accordingly and provide you with the best plan of action, as some plans may require structural changes once the asbestos has been removed.
For more information on our Chippenham based asbestos removal service please telephone 01249 847442