Being exposed to asbestos fibres has been linked to the development of a chronic lung condition, known as asbestosis. This condition leaves sufferers short of breath and can leave scarring on their lungs. Asbestos exposure is also linked to an increased risk of developing some cancers, so if asbestos is found in a building, it should never be ignored. Read on to learn what your options are when asbestos is found.
If the wall or ceiling that contains asbestos is damaged or deteriorating, or if you want complete peace of mind, the material containing asbestos can be removed. The process of removing asbestos safely is complex and highly regulated. Those involved in the removal process are required to follow a set of guidelines and must wear protective clothing and respirators. The material being removed needs to be bagged and labelled, and a decontamination area needs to be set up to prevent asbestos fibres from being carried out of the working area. Once the removal job is complete, the room needs to be cleaned thoroughly before it can be used for any purpose.
If you have a wall that's found to contain asbestos but is in good condition with no signs of degradation, encapsulation may be suitable. This method of dealing with asbestos involves securing the asbestos in place to prevent any fibres from escaping into the environment. Encapsulation can be achieved using a spray that soaks into the area being treated and locks asbestos fibres in place by hardening around them. The other main form of encapsulation involves coating the wall that contains asbestos with a substance that creates a barrier as soon as it dries.
The enclosure method may be suitable for areas that are vulnerable to damage. It involves creating a false ceiling or wall around the affected area to seal it off. The gap created will be filled with foam and the enclosure must pass an assessment to ensure it is airtight. Once it passes, any further work that needs to be carried out in the affected room can go ahead safely. The enclosure method can be used on its own or alongside encapsulation.
Regardless of the method chosen, handling and cleaning guidelines need to be followed to ensure everyone's safety. You can find out more about dealing with asbestos, and you can schedule a survey if you think there's asbestos in your building, by contacting an asbestos removal company.