If you are the owner of, manager for, or run a business in a commercial or industrial building, you may be concerned about the presence of asbestos. If you are planning a demolition or renovation, you should be especially concerned. If the property does contain asbestos, asbestos abatement contractors will be to be present to complete the removal of any suspect asbestos. Here are some things to expect.
The Removal Process
Removal of asbestos from a commercial building is different from a residence. To begin with, a commercial or industrial building is considerably larger. There can be more places that asbestos has been used, and different procedures may be required. While a home asbestos abatement can possibly be completed in a day, commercial removal will probably take several days at least.
For everyone’s safety, it is crucial that only a certified, professional asbestos abatement company be used.
Generally, the first step is to hire an asbestos consultant. This person or company can perform an inspection and identify the areas where asbestos is present and the amounts in each location. Usually, this person also oversees the removal process. Prior to the inspection, the consultant will review any previous reports and documentation and become familiar with the building’s structure and the layout of operations.
During the inspection, samples may be taken and sent for analysis. If there are any discrepancies between the previous report(s) and the building’s current conditions, a more detailed inspection may be performed. These reports must be very accurate because they are not only the outline of work to be performed, but will be used by the building’s owner to solicit bids and to award a contract.
An abatement contractor will be responsible for the removal. This is separate from the consultant to avoid any conflict of interest.
There are specific guidelines for each type of asbestos product including thermal insulation, surface, and other materials as designated. A licensed, certified asbestos abatement company will be familiar with each process and follow the regulations comletely. The abatement company will also only use teams and employees that are fully trained in the handling and disposal of the materials. The abatement company will assume responsibility for the proper disposal of all asbestos and waste materials removed from the building.
The entire removal process will be monitored for compliance to all local and federal regulations and laws and for the use of all safety procedures. This will include decontamination centers and protection from the asbestos particles from becoming airborne. The project monitor will collect samples at least daily and at the completion of the project.
Depending on the scope of the project and the location of the asbestos, you may be able to continue business operations during the period of work. It is possible to secure particular areas and allow employees to work in different parts of the building. Realize that this is not always a viable option.
All interested parties should receive copies of all the written reports. If this does not occur, you should request them for your records.