If you are living in an older home in Chicago, it’s important that you have your home tested for asbestos. This testing could be done either by taking samples of materials, or samples of the air in your home that may contain asbestos fibers.
Asbestos testing is strongly recommended for materials that have tears, cracks, and water damage, as they have a higher chance of releasing asbestos fibers into the air.
It is always best to have an inspector visit your home to check for asbestos contamination. If that is not possible, you can collect samples and send them to an accredited laboratory for testing.
When taking asbestos samples, it is important to take the following precautionary steps:
1. Prepare the Work Area
The first step is to identify the work area. If your house was built before the 1980s, there are high chances of asbestos being present in the insulation (around fireplaces, boilers, ducts, pipes) and also beneath floor tiles, and roof shingles. Once you have chosen an area, prepare the material by wetting it down with a mixture of detergent and water. This helps in reducing the surface tension of the asbestos fibers and preventing it from becoming airborne.
Also, avoid cutting, tearing, breaking, or sanding of any materials, as this could release harmful fibers into the air.
2. Wear Protective Gear
Asbestos is known to be harmful to the respiratory system, and it can even be carcinogenic if there is long term exposure to its fibers. Therefore, asbestos removal should always be carried out by trained personnel wearing protective gear consisting of a respirator, suit, gloves, and footwear, which should all be disposed of afterward to avoid contamination.
Even though many of the precautions for taking asbestos samples are less stringent than the actual removal process, care must be taken. This includes wearing appropriate masks, gloves, and disposable shoe covers to reduce any chances of the fibers affecting your health.
3. Identify Different Types of Materials in the House
There are some forms of asbestos present in your home that may not necessarily be harmful to your health. For example, asbestos that is not likely to crumble or disintegrate is considered to be harmless. This type of asbestos is generally found in floor tiles, roofing, and siding.
It’s important to identify this material so that you can avoid disturbing it accidentally.
4. Collect Samples
Once you have identified the materials and the suspected areas, it’s time to collect samples for testing. Limit the size of your material to one square inch, as that would be the maximum requirement of the sample by any testing laboratory.
5. Seal and Dispatch
Once you have collected samples from different areas, place them in a plastic zip-lock bag. After that, place this bag inside another zip lock bag, or inside an airtight container. Ensure that you label the bag with the details of the sample, including the date and description from where it was taken.
Seal the edges of the material by spraying with lacquer. Finally, clean the sample area with a paper towel or a disposable cloth to remove any asbestos dust, and then dispose of the towel (as well as other protective personal gear) used for collecting the sample.
Get Professional Help from a Chicago Asbestos Testing and Removal Company
Do you need asbestos removed from your Chicago commercial property or home? Are you seeking professional abatement services to have it taken care of? If so, we at Axis Response Group are the company to call.
Our team of asbestos abatement specialists has inspected numerous properties throughout Chicago. If you are looking for quick and safe asbestos removal, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us today to discuss your needs!