There is no more dreaded word in the real estate industry than "asbestos." For many decades, asbestos was an integral part of construction in both a friable and bonded form, and many buildings still contain asbestos that has not yet been removed. If you have never had your business premises checked for asbestos, then there is no time like the present, as the longer you wait the more chance you have of potential asbestos fibres getting into the air. Here are a few reasons why asbestos is so dangerous and what you should do about it to protect yourself.
The Dangers Of Asbestos
Asbestos is a completely natural mineral which is generally quite soft and stringy. It has excellent insulative properties which is why it was used for so long in so much of Australia. It was also quite cheap, which is another reason why it was used in everything from roofing to flooring and all the layers of construction in between. However, what people didn't know at the time was that if these fibres got into the air (as they often do) then you could inhale them and they would wreak havoc on your lungs and respiratory system. This can cause cancer (particularly mesothelioma) as well as asbestosis and other often fatal lung conditions.
Obviously all of the above reasons make it perfectly clear that asbestos should be removed if possible. Friable asbestos, the loose asbestos in insulation, is the most dangerous asbestos and should be replaced immediately if it is spotted. Needless to say, you need an expert to do this or else you risk leaving some asbestos behind or getting sick from the fibres in the air. Asbestos removal is a common service offered by many companies that are slowly clearing out Australia of asbestos in all its forms. If you aren't sure whether your business has asbestos or not, then call an asbestos removal company to come and do a diagnostic test. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to asbestos.
Timeline Of Removal
Once you have called for an inspection from the asbestos removal company, they will generally send someone out within a day or two (whatever is convenient for you). After they test all the areas where asbestos is commonly found, they will have the readings back almost instantly. Often they can tell just by looking at the material whether it has asbestos in it and the test only confirms their suspicions. From there, you and your employees will likely have to vacate the building as the removal process starts. This is quite delicate work that has to be done in protective clothing, but it can be over usually within two days (depending on the size of the building). From there, you will be good to either replace the asbestos with safer materials or plan your next step.