What is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the ability to resist heat, fire, and electricity. Although asbestos fibers are microscopic in nature, they are extremely durable and resistant to fire and most chemical reactions and breakdowns. These properties of asbestos supported its use for many years in a number of different commercial and industrial settings, as well as in a wide range of consumer products. Although its use has diminished in recent decades, there are still many products that contain asbestos, especially in older homes, schools and public buildings. Asbestos was sometimes "flocked" above false ceilings, inside technical ducts, and in many other small spaces where firefighters would have difficulty gaining access. Structural components like asbestos panels were also used. In residences, asbestos was often a component of a type of flocked acoustic ceiling called popcorn ceiling or "cottage cheese ceiling", until its production was banned in the US in 1978. However, the ban allowed installers to use up remaining stocks, so houses built as late as 1986 could still have asbestos in their acoustic ceilings. The only way to be sure is to remove a sample and have it tested by a competent laboratory.
Asbestos is perhaps best known for its role in causing mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer that can develop in linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart
Integrity Core Services is Northern Colorado's expert in asbestos abatement. Our trained and certified crew members are experts in evaluating residential and commercial spaces and detect exposed asbestos. Our top priority is to maintain a safe environment. We'll look for potential problems during an inspection and devise a removal plan for spaces that have asbestos exposure.
If removal is to be performed when users are still present in the building, it is usually necessary to relocate some users temporarily. Typically, the part of the building from which asbestos is being removed has to be sealed off in order to prevent contamination of the other areas. Methods of sealing off an area often include the use of polyethylene film, duct tape and negative air pressure machines which are fitted with HEPA filters. The idea is that the contained area is pulling fresh air in as to not let asbestos fibers out into the surrounding environment. Only a special vacuum cleaner that is designed for asbestos containment (class H) can be safely used when cleaning up during and after asbestos removal. Ordinary vacuum cleaners cannot be used, even those fitted with a HEPA filter. An ordinary vacuum cleaner will expel the asbestos fibers into the room air.
An asbestos-containing building that is to be torn down may have to be sealed and to have its asbestos safely removed before ordinary demolition can be performed. The asbestos removal may take longer and cost more than the actual demolition.