Here's What You Should Know About Asbestos Testing
Asbestos is a mineral that was often used in building materials and can be harmful if asbestos particles get into the air and are inhaled. Asbestos testing may need to be done in your home or business to keep you and all other occupants safe. Here are some frequently asked questions about asbestos testing with answers that can help you become more informed.
When is asbestos testing needed?
If you live or work in a building that was built before the mid-1990s, there's a chance that some of the building materials contain asbestos, and you might consider having your building tested. Generally, asbestos in materials won't do harm unless the materials are disturbed by construction work or other means and release asbestos particles into the air, in which case you should schedule asbestos testing. If you're planning to have any construction or demolition work done on your building, you should also arrange an asbestos test so that the project can proceed as safely as possible.
How is asbestos testing performed?
Professionals test for asbestos by cutting and removing a small sample of building material that they believe might have asbestos in it. Water is sprayed on the area from where the sample will be taken so that asbestos particles won't contaminate the air when the material is cut. After the sample has been taken, the area of building material that was cut to retrieve the sample is patched over to contain any asbestos particles and prevent them from being released into the air. After the sample is removed it is sent to a lab for analysis. The air inside the building can also be tested to determine if airborne asbestos particles are present.
Can I do the test myself?
You shouldn't try to test for asbestos yourself, as doing so could be dangerous to your health. Professionals who perform asbestos testing are able to collect test samples safely while wearing the proper equipment. When a building material sample is collected, great care is taken to keep asbestos particles from being released into the air. Before the sample is sent to the lab, it is placed inside a safe and sealed container.
What if the test comes back positive?
If you get a positive result from the asbestos test, you might not need to take any further action if you're not planning to have any work done on your building and the building materials will remain intact and undisturbed. Asbestos abatement, which involves removing the asbestos-containing materials with special tools and methods, will likely need to be performed in advance if you want to have any construction or demolition work done.
If you're concerned about asbestos, asbestos testing can let you know for sure whether your building has this potentially hazardous mineral in it. Asbestos testing professionals can come to your home or workplace to perform the test without doing harm to you or anyone else who's in the building.
Contact an asbestos testing service, such as Sharpe Brothers, Ltd., for more information.