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6 min read Feb 01, 2023

Asbestos Inspection: What Makes it so Important?

Asbestos inspection

An asbestos inspection is a test to see if the facility contains any controlled asbestos-containing materials in a building or portions of a facility where demolition or restoration operations will take place. Asbestos was widely utilized as a construction material and insulator until it became a carcinogen in the late twentieth century. Asbestos use in construction ceased globally, yet millions of buildings still contain asbestos. If you own a home that still contains asbestos, it poses a significant health risk to anybody nearby. To avoid dangerous situations, you must use an expertly trained asbestos removal service for inspection and remediation.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a non-invasive visual examination of a property. Home inspections reveal significant defects in the property that an untrained eye can miss. Inspections paint the real picture of the true condition of the property.

A home inspector will assess your house and provide valuable insights into the property’s interior and exterior, electrical systems, and more. Specialty home inspections, like radon, mold, and asbestos, are also done. One such inspection is the asbestos inspection.

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What is an Asbestos Inspection and Evaluation?

An asbestos inspection is when a person looks for the existence or location of asbestos-containing material (ACM) or suspected ACM in a structure or facility. ACM refers to any substance containing more than 1% asbestos. Suspected ACM is material presumed to be ACM but has yet to be sampled and evaluated for asbestos content. Re-examining a structure or facility to determine the presence or location of additional or existing ACM or suspected ACM is also part of an asbestos inspection.

An asbestos inspection and assessment do not consider the following factors:

  • It requires that schools maintain regular surveillance programs by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Visual checks to assess whether asbestos-related work completes.
  • Compliance inspections take place by a government agency agent.

Why is an Asbestos Inspection Required?

In the 1970s, studies linking asbestos exposure to lung cancer garnered considerable public attention, resulting in a slew of legislation to reduce the risk. The Environmental Protection Agency’s 1989 Asbestos Ban and Phase-Out Rule looked to mark the end of asbestos-containing goods in the United States. They were entirely banned.

After the issue appeared to settle, the nation’s attention shifted to other concerns, which resulted in minimal attention being paid to the landmark 1991 Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that overturned much of the EPA’s regulation. Consequently, asbestos may remain present in many building materials used to construct your home (regardless of age).

For instance, these items are prime suspects: 

  • Pipeline Wraps 
  • Roofing Felt 
  • Vinyl Floor Tile 
  • Millboard 
  • Roof Coatings

Other materials might belong to that list, but our goal isn’t to present a comprehensive overview. Our goal is that you will see how serious the problem is – both financially and in terms of environmental health – and take precautions the next time a project in or on your building necessitates the disruption of construction materials.

In many respects, the 1991 ruling rendered the 1989 asbestos ban obsolete. There is still cause for worry about asbestos in commercial buildings, and an asbestos study is nearly always the best place to start. Asbestos surveys are often rapid and affordable, depending on the project type and size. The technique will detect any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) present and, if necessary, will remove the location of ACMs. It is a classic instance of “forewarned is forearmed.”

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Asbestos Testing Procedure

Before undertaking any remodeling, demolition, asbestos abatement, or other action that may influence suspicious material, a licensed asbestos inspection specialist must conduct an on-site examination. This inspection follows federal rules and regulations established by OSHA and the US EPA, as well as numerous state regulations and municipal legislation. 

For environmental testing services, the asbestos inspection business should be able to demonstrate proper expertise, license, and professional liability insurance coverage. Without professional liability insurance, the owner has no recourse for losses resulting from mistakes in judgment or expert opinion, all of which fall beyond the scope of a contractor’s general liability insurance.

The Asbestos Testing Process Involves:

  • An in-depth visual inspection of the affected space.
  • Material inventory
  • Sampling in bulk
  • Testing in a laboratory
  • Suggestions
  • Reporting on surveys

Various rules need a certain number of samples from each type of substance. One might wonder why more than one sample of each category is required. Products containing asbestos must be manufactured and analyzed within limits. Inspecting a building needs to be done by a skilled, professional, and independent firm.

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Do I Have Asbestos in My Home?

The quick answer is: most likely yes. Asbestos can appear in several places, including floor tiles, joint compounds, attic insulation, and ductwork. It is possible to find asbestos in modern homes in materials such as laminate or vinyl flooring. Because asbestos was so widely utilized, it remains in many residences. In the United States, asbestos-containing products have no restrictions, so even new homes could contain asbestos.

So How Should I Deal With Asbestos in My House?

If you think asbestos is present in sections of your house and the material is loose or dissolved, you should get it examined and tested. At the very least, determine what to do if you have old insulation in your attic or pipes wrapped in fabric that crumbles when touched. You don’t have anything to worry about if you merely go about your daily business on the same old floor tiles.

How Much Does an Asbestos Inspection Cost?

The price of asbestos inspections varies depending on the home and circumstances. The typical cost of home asbestos testing is roughly $600, but a thorough inspection might cost up to $1500. Nevertheless, a home asbestos inspection should ensure your home’s integrity. It is easier to implement a solution when you detect a problem early.

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