Here, we try to answer any quick questions you might have about asbestos. If you don't find the answer you're looking for here, you can check the "helpful asbestos links," or contact us to speak with an expert.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a fiberous mineral that contains silicates. Because of its resistant properties to chemicals and heat, asbestos is a common material in fireproofing and insulation materials, and has been used for many other purposes.
Is asbestos dangerous?
If undisturbed, asbestos presents no threat to one's health. However, if handled incorrectly, asbestos can break into microscopic fibers that can be inhaled by humans and remain in the body for years. 10-40 years after exposure to asbestos has been shown to cause various diseases, such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, and increased exposure creates an increased chance of contracting a disease.
Legally, the Department of Environmental Protection considers all material comprising 1% asbestos or greater to be hazardous, and mandates that it must be handled by state licensed professionals.
What is an asbestos survey report?
Before the owner/operator of a building containing suspect Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) conducts demolition or renovation activities, they must employ an asbestos inspector to thoroughly inspect the facility to identify the presence, location, and quantity of any ACM or suspect ACM, and prepare a written asbestos survey report.
An asbestos survey report is a document that inventories all asbestos containing materials (ACM) found at the surveyed location. The report identifies the types, amounts, condition and location of ACM, and should be kept for 2 years following the completion of demolition or renovation activities. Survey reports are regulated by the Code of Massachusetts Regulations: 310 CMR 7.15.
Where is asbestos commonly found in the home?
Asbestos was used in a variety of housing materials, including but not limited to pipe and duct insulation, heating system insulation, snowman boilers, floor tiles, vinyl sheet flooring, wallboard, joint compound, decorative plasters, siding shingles (transite), asphalt roofing, fireproofing products.
It is a common rumor that asbestos will not be found in homes built after the 1970s, but this is incorrect. Pre-1980, asbestos was freely and widely used in construction. Throughout the 80s, the discovery of asbestos's adverse effects caused multiple product bans which in 1989 culminated in a blanket ban on all asbestos containing materials. However, this ruling was repealed in 1991, and asbestos is still legally sold and used today.
When should I test for asbestos?
Before performing any renovation or demolition activity on a building, all asbestos containing material must be identified to determine if it would be impacted by the construction. It is also common to hire an asbestos inspector before buying a house, so as to factor the cost of future renovations into the sale.
How do you determine whether my home contains asbestos?
First we schedule an appointment for our licensed asbestos inspector to survey the property and identify any visual asbestos. Small samples of suspect materials are collected and sent to SanAir Technologies Laboratory, where they are tested using EPA 600/R-93/116 scan method for asbestos.
How soon will I get my results back?
From the day you contact us, we typically have results within 3-5 business days, depending on when we schedule our site visit. If you need results ASAP, we can expedite the results for a slightly higher fee so you'll hear back in 1-2 days.
What should I do if the survey finds asbestos?
If the asbestos is in good condition and “does not pose a health hazard,” it does not need to be removed. However, it must be kept in this good condition. Also, if demolition/renovation or repair could damage the ACM, then the asbestos must be removed prior to the activity. In the case of demolition, all asbestos must be removed.
All asbestos must be handled by a Massachusetts licensed asbestos contractor. Nealco Inspectional Services is partnered with Erie Environmental, and will send you a free proposal for the abatement work. Otherwise, a list of all current asbestos contractors can be found here.
What are the laws/legislatures you follow?
Asbestos work and handling is governed by the Department of Environmental Protection. We follow the latest regulations posted to the mass.gov Asbestos Page, including requirements for asbestos consultants (6.07) and regulations on Air Pollution Control (7.15 (4)).
Why should we choose you over another company?
We are a local business that values professional and friendly customer service. If we do find asbestos, Neal's background in asbestos abatement allows him to cite a reasonable price you can expect to pay for the abatement.
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What is the best way to contact you?
Our contact information can be found on our Contact page. We respond to all emails (ours is firstname.lastname@example.org), or you can call our office at (781) 885-3966 (we check our messages).
For immediate assistance, call Neal on his cell phone at (617) 593-1664.