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Biohazard Cleanup: Where Hidden Asbestos Might Be Found In Your Home

Removal of asbestos-laced products after a fire or flood should be done by a professionally certified biohazard cleanup company such as Proserve DKI.

Removal of asbestos-laced products after a fire or flood should be done by a professionally certified biohazard cleanup company such as Proserve DKI.

By now most Albertans have heard about the dangers of asbestos. Known for its insulating and fireproofing properties, the compound of silicate minerals was used in both residential construction and industrial applications during the early part of the 20th century. This is before it was found to be deadly to human health.

While most construction materials today do not contain asbestos, there might still be a need for biohazard cleanup in and around Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo for residences and commercial and industrial buildings built before 1990.

Here we look at where hidden asbestos may be found, what the dangers of asbestos handling are, and why and when a professional company such as Proserve DKI should be called for asbestos cleanup.

Where Can Asbestos Be Found

Before the dangers of asbestos were exposed in the 1980s, the mineral was often used in construction materials such as:

  • Insulation
  • Textured paints
  • Ceiling and floor tiles
  • Drywall mud
  • Patching compounds
  • Fireproofing products

Asbestos has been detected in older homes built before 1990 and, in particular, in colder weather areas, as it was once used for attic, wall and pipe insulation.

Dangers of Asbestos

When asbestos is handled without the help of a certified and professional restoration or cleanup company, it can release very fine particles unseen to the eye. When inhaled, these sharp and thin non-dissolvable fibres can cause something known as asbestosis, a disease of the lungs and type of pulmonary fibrosis, as well as asbestos-related cancers. Known as the slow and silent killer, symptoms from asbestos exposure can take up to 20-to-30 years to develop, and by then it’s often too late.

How to Identify Asbestos

The problem with detecting asbestos in your home is that unlike other biohazards such as smoke or mould, you cannot see or smell it. However, if your home was built before 1990, it’s important to hire an environmental consultant to first identify whether there is asbestos in the home or building and then arrange for a certified restoration company, such as Proserve DKI, to remove the asbestos.

How a Flood or House Fire Restoration Company Can Help with Asbestos Removal

While older Alberta homes may still contain asbestos-laced products, they don’t become a hazard until they are disturbed i.e. during a home renovation or after a disaster, as asbestos fibres can be released during a house fire or flood.

Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety requires that house fire restoration companies, such as Proserve DKI, handle the asbestos removal in a restricted and fully contained area. Unlike an untrained individual or company, the fully certified hazard and cleanup crew at Proserve DKI wear specialized protective equipment and have expert knowledge and removal techniques to avoid asbestos exposure.

For more information, read 5 Questions Answered on Why You Need Professionals for Biohazard Cleanup.

Proserve DKI offers Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo residents and businesses with house fire restoration services along with flood, sewage, wind, smoke and fire cleanup. We also specialize in mould restoration and asbestos cleanup projects. For emergency relief that is available 365 days, 7 days a week, call us 1-780-791-3663.