Asbestos Removal

Professional Asbestos Removal

asbestos removal

Once you have a licensed abatement professional visit your home to inspect for ACM and take samples, they will determine how best to address the problem. Some professionals only handle removal, while others offer a full menu of remediation services, including encapsulation and repair.

Enclosures will seal infected areas to prevent fibers from contaminating clean areas. They may also use HEPA air filters and exhaust ducts to clear contaminants from the work area. For more information, go to


Asbestos inspections are a standard part of the home buying process. Generally, asbestos inspections are conducted by accredited asbestos professionals and include a visual examination of all suspect areas as well as the collection and analysis of samples. The results from these tests are typically provided in a survey report for the property.

As best practices suggest, a homeowner should be proactive when it comes to asbestos in the home and regularly check any suspected areas for signs of damage such as tears, abrasions or water damage. Slightly damaged material is unlikely to pose a threat, but if it is likely to be disturbed during repairs or renovation work, professional repair and/or removal should be considered.

However, even if the asbestos is intact and undisturbed, it is still important to contact an accredited asbestos professional for an inspection. If a person disturbs the material, it may release asbestos fibers into the air, and if inhaled, this can lead to serious health complications including lung disease and cancer.

For homeowners that are planning any renovations that could potentially disturb materials containing asbestos, it may be necessary to have an entire home inspected by an accredited asbestos professional. This process is typically very detailed and requires full access to all parts of the home for inspections and sample collection. The professional will turn off all HVAC units and seal any vents or ductwork to prevent the spread of asbestos. Once the area is sealed off, the mitigation company will wet wipe and HEPA vacuum all surfaces within the containment area to ensure the area is free of any microscopic asbestos particles.

Many homeowners sell their properties and therefore must comply with state and federal disclosure requirements. Asbestos inspections, however, are not required in every case. Some sellers refuse to allow destructive testing of their property due to the nature of the sampling process. This is understandable, and a compromise may be possible, such as collecting a small bulk sample behind an electrical outlet plate in a closet or similar area that would not be disturbed during a typical home purchase.


When asbestos-containing material (ACM) is damaged or disturbed, dangerous asbestos fibers can be released into the air. This poses a health risk and must be addressed before any renovation, remodeling, repair, maintenance or demolition work is performed. To help prevent inhalation of these dangerous fibers, any work on ACM should be done only by a licensed asbestos professional.

While laws have been put in place to reduce people’s contact with this hazardous material, asbestos is still present in homes and commercial buildings built prior to these laws. If these materials are damaged or deteriorating, they should be checked for the presence of asbestos by an AHERA building inspector. Then, the asbestos professional can recommend the proper cleaning or removal procedure.

Taking samples of the ACM is a necessary part of any asbestos assessment or inspection. However, the sampling process is highly technical and should only be completed by a certified asbestos professional. This professional should also have a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) on staff, and proof of professional liability (errors & omissions) insurance coverage.

Sampling involves removing small pieces of ACM for analysis to determine if it contains asbestos. The type of sample required will depend on the material being tested and the local regulations. Taking too many samples can result in an inaccurate assessment or may even increase the health risk to workers performing the test or analyzing the results. Only a qualified asbestos professional can accurately assess how many samples are needed for a particular project.

If ACM is found to contain asbestos, the building must be placed into full-containment before any abatement can take place. This is done to ensure the safety of anyone who enters the abatement area and also to maintain a negative pressure environment and worker decontamination unit. Once the abatement is complete, a clearance air sample must be taken in the containment to ensure that any remaining fibers have been locked down by the sealant used to cover the abated area.

Intact, non-friable ACM waste such as floor tiles, roof shingles and exterior siding that are removed whole may be transported to landfills that have been approved by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the disposal of this hazardous waste. However, any ACM that is broken up or crushed before being disposed of will require special disposal approval from the DEP and must be done by an accredited asbestos contractor.


Federal, state and sometimes local governments regulate asbestos abatement. These regulations govern who may perform work and how the work must be performed. They also establish training requirements, safety standards and monitoring protocols.

The state of New Jersey is no exception to these rules. A permit is required to perform class II and III asbestos removal or encapsulation. To obtain this permit, the contractor must first submit an Asbestos Project Notification (ACP-7) to DEP. In some cases, these requests may require a plan for air monitoring and a workplace safety plan. Depending on site-specific conditions, the ACP-07 may be reviewed by the Asbestos Technical Review Unit and an EPA approved third party certification examination can also be required.

In addition to a permit, an asbestos removal contractor will need a license and insurance. This includes proof of workers’ compensation and liability insurance as well as an accreditation from a recognized abatement training program. These licensing and accreditations can be obtained from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In some situations, contractors from other states may be eligible for reciprocity with New Jersey. However, they must pass a third party state exam and meet other requirements.

If demolition or renovation is planned, an asbestos survey report must be submitted prior to the start of construction. This survey must identify any asbestos-containing material and describe how it will be removed or encapsulated.

The survey can be conducted by a professional or the owner can complete it themselves if they follow specific guidelines. For example, the survey must be taken in a clean room. Any areas of the structure where demolition or renovation will occur must be covered with heavy plastic. Debris must be carefully removed from the plastic at the end of each workday.

A contractor must also have a designated person on site to ensure that the asbestos abatement work is completed safely. This person must be trained and must have a valid license to perform work in the state of New Jersey. In addition, the person must conduct a final inspection and record it on a form A-TR1 for each workday.


Asbestos is a silicate mineral composed of tiny fibres. When disturbed, these fibres can become airborne and be inhaled into the lungs, potentially causing lung problems including asbestosis (fibrosis) and mesothelioma. It is also possible to ingest asbestos through contaminated food or water.

As a result, governments have set standards and regulations that must be followed for using, handling and removing asbestos. These rules are designed to reduce the risk of exposure and protect people, property and the environment.

During asbestos removal, workers wear respirators and protective clothing to limit exposure. They also follow a strict cleanup procedure, cleaning up dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner fitted with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and disposing of all contaminated materials. It is generally recommended that you hire a professional asbestos abatement contractor for any work on your home involving asbestos.

Removing asbestos is expensive, time-consuming and labour intensive. However, if your home contains asbestos, the cost of removal is likely to be less than the cost of repairing any damage caused by the presence of asbestos. If you do decide to remove asbestos, make sure your contractor is licensed to perform the work.

It is important to ensure that your contractor isolates the area containing ACM prior to beginning work. This will prevent asbestos fibers from becoming airborne and contaminating other areas of your home. It is also a good idea to ensure that the contractor does not break removed material into small pieces as this can release asbestos fibres into the air. If your contractor is removing pipe insulation, it is a good idea to ask them to apply a wetting agent to the lagging before they begin work. Wetted lagging does not release asbestos fibres as easily as dry lagging.

Alternatively, your contractor may recommend encapsulation or covering (enclosure) instead of removal in certain situations. Encapsulation involves treating the asbestos-containing material with a sealant that either binds the asbestos fibres together or coats them so they cannot be released. This type of repair is often used to repair exposed insulated piping. It is also sometimes used to repair drywall, ceilings and fireproof doors.