If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (978) 927-8665

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Community is Everything

3/9/2023 (Permalink)

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil.

Where can asbestos be found?

Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance asbestos has been used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant. Asbestos has also been used in a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.

Where asbestos may be found:

  • Attic and wall insulation produced containing vermiculite.
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on walls and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes

How can you be exposed to asbestos?

Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.

Advice from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection: 

 "If asbestos containing material is in good condition, the best thing you can do is leave it alone."

Unfortunately, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards says removal of some amount of building materials in necessary in a high percentage of our jobs due to contamination. 

Possible Health Risks

Three of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure are:

  • lung cancer
  • mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart
  • asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs

What does that mean for you when working with us? 

If we are removing any amount of building materials from your home, said building material need to be tested for asbestos levels before the materials are removed from your home. 

What does this mean for your project? 

It means we are "on hold" with your project temporarily.  We contact an Industrial Hygienist, who will contact you, our customer, to come to your home to perform the appropriate testing.  The Industrial Hygienist will take samples of the material we are looking to remove, and they are sent to a local lab. The turnaround time for results are about 2-3 business days and if there is any in the materials, an outside asbestos abatement company needs to be brought in who will provide an estimate for you (and your insurance company) and will ultimately perform the asbestos abatement.

The reasons for the multi steps are simple:

  • if we skip this step, the fine from the MA DEP reaches into the thousands of dollars. 
  • If say a saw is used on drywall or joint compound to remove the drywall, and your furnace is turned on, this asbestos articulates now become airborne and spread like seeds of a dandelion in a light breeze.  You are now breathing in this dust, and the dust is airborne leading to more dangerous absorption into your lungs. 

So, when you’re dealing with an emergency that requires dealing with the removal of questionable building materials and insulation use the company in your community who cares what happens to you and yours. We believe in staying safe and keeping you and your family safe from the unseen hazards of problematic material removal. We will help deal with getting in contact with the correct agencies to test and correctly remove asbestos containing material. Call SERVPRO of Beverly/Cape Ann, the professionals regarding the proper way to take care of your home! 

SERVPRO of Beverly/ Cape Ann is open 24 Hours a Day 7 Days a week (978) 927-8665

Other News

View Recent Posts