If you own an older office building in Chicago and have recently found asbestos inside, you most likely have several questions about how you should proceed. While this can be a hectic situation for any property owner, it’s important to remain calm and approach the situation in a professional manner. Not sure how to proceed? This asbestos removal contractor in Chicago, Illinois is going to offer some guidance below.
Let’s talk about what asbestos is…
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring silicate minerals. These minerals were extremely popular in construction and manufacturing throughout most of the 20th century because they provided a phenomenal combination of fire resistance, insulation, and soundproofing qualities.
However, the downside of asbestos soon became very clear, as studies found the risks of long-term asbestos exposure. When asbestos-containing materials (or ACMs) get old or damaged, they release tiny fibers in the air. These fibers are bad news if they get into your lungs, where they can become trapped — and stay that way for a long time.
Over time, these airborne fibers can cause inflammation, scarring, and some severe health issues like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Sadly, it can take decades before any symptoms show up, making asbestos a real insidious health hazard.
Where can asbestos be hiding in your old office building?
Asbestos could be hiding in many different places within older office buildings.
You can find asbestos in the usual spots like insulation, floor tiles, and ceiling tiles. However, experienced asbestos removal contractors in Chicago, Illinois also find it hiding in places you might never think to look — such as your boiler insulation, fireproofing materials, roofing shingles, siding, and even the glue under linoleum floors.
It’s important to remember that asbestos wasn’t widely banned until the late 20th century. If your building was constructed or renovated before the 1980s, there’s a chance it could contain asbestos.
What should you do if you find asbestos?
If you find asbestos in your old office building, it’s important to stay calm and avoid touching it. Asbestos is most dangerous when it is friable — or when it can easily crumble and send those tiny fibers airborne.
So, if you find something that looks like it might contain asbestos, it’s best to leave it be. Isolate the area (if possible) and put up some signs to keep everyone out.
Next, you should get in touch with a professional asbestos removal contractor in Chicago, Illinois. They will first run some tests to confirm the presence of asbestos and then work out the safest way to remove it. They may seal off the area to prevent contamination, use special HEPA-filtered vacuum systems and wet methods to keep those fibers from going airborne, and safely dispose of the ACMs according to environmental regulations.
What should you do after the removal?
You will feel a lot better once the asbestos is gone. But the job is not done yet — there are still important things left to ensure everything is safe.
First, you’ll want to get the area retested to confirm that all asbestos has been removed and that the air is safe to breathe. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll want to consider regular inspections and maintenance to prevent future asbestos surprises. This is especially important if you are planning any renovations or changes to the building, as these activities can disturb previously undisturbed ACMs.
Looking for a Professional Asbestos Removal Contractor in Chicago, Illinois?
Do you own an office building that was built prior to the 1980s? If so, and if you’d like to have it inspected for asbestos, you’ve come to the right place — Axis Response Group is here to help. As the premier asbestos removal contractor in Chicago, Illinois, we have what it takes to identify and remove all traces of asbestos from your property. Contact us today at (773) 427-6811 to schedule an inspection.