Asbestos removal from a commercial building should only be performed by licensed and trained professionals. The removal process generally involves the following steps:
A licensed asbestos inspector will inspect the building to determine the location and condition of any asbestos-containing materials.
The removal team will seal off the area with plastic sheeting and establish negative air pressure to prevent the spread of asbestos fibers to other areas of the building.
The team will use specialized tools to carefully remove the asbestos-containing materials, taking care not to break or damage them. The materials will be wetted down to prevent the release of fibers into the air.
The area will be thoroughly cleaned using HEPA vacuums and wet wiping to remove any remaining asbestos fibers. The team will also dispose of all asbestos-containing materials in accordance with local regulations.
A licensed asbestos inspector will perform a final inspection to ensure that all asbestos-containing materials have been safely and completely removed.
The specific methods used for asbestos removal can vary depending on the type of asbestos-containing materials and the size and/or complexity of the building. It’s essential to work with experienced and licensed professionals who can develop a customized plan for safe and effective asbestos removal.
What Precautions Need to be Taken Before Asbestos Removal?
Several precautions need to be taken before asbestos removal begins to protect the workers and occupants of the building from exposure. Here are some common precautions that should be taken:
· Hire a Licensed Asbestos Abatement Contractor
Only hire a licensed asbestos abatement contractor who is trained and experienced in asbestos removal. They should have the proper equipment, tools, and protective gear necessary to safely remove asbestos.
· Asbestos Survey
Have a licensed asbestos inspector conduct an asbestos survey to identify all asbestos-containing materials in the building. This will help the abatement contractor develop a plan for safe removal and disposal.
· Obtain Proper Permits
Obtain any necessary permits and follow all local and federal regulations regarding asbestos removal and disposal.
· Notify Occupants
Notify all occupants of the building, including employees, tenants, and visitors, about the upcoming asbestos removal work. Advise them to stay away from the work area during the removal process.
· Establish a Containment Area
The abatement contractor will set up a containment area around the work area using plastic sheeting to prevent the spread of asbestos fibers. Negative air pressure will also be established to ensure that no fibers escape into other areas of the building.
· Protective Gear
All workers involved in the removal process must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as respirators, gloves, and disposable coveralls. They should also shower and change clothes before leaving the work area.
· Seal off HVAC systems
All HVAC systems in the building must be sealed off to prevent the spread of asbestos fibers through the air ducts.
Following these precautions can significantly reduce the risk of exposure to asbestos fibers during removal.
Note: Removal or mitigation of asbestos containing material from other than commercial buildings, such as schools, may involve other required procedures. The above does not address those procedures.
Illinois Environmental Contractors Association Resources
For more information on finding a local contractor to assist with asbestos, lead and other regulated substance information, remediation, or removal, or if you have general questions regarding environmental regulations, check the resources below: