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Starting a renovation project? Test for asbestos before demolition.

Asbestos Testing

Asbestos testingAccording to most readings of the NESHAPS asbestos rules, there is no end date for asbestos testing depending on the time of construction. That means that ANY renovation project involving demolition should have an asbestos inspection (asbestos survey).

Asbestos has only been completely banned in certain building materials, and asbestos has been found in materials from buildings built in the 21st century. Depending on the type of building, an asbestos survey may be required for demolition or renovation activities no matter the original construction date.

Property owners and general contractors need to be in the compliance with the Cal/OSHA Asbestos construction standard This essentially means that you must assume all suspect materials contain asbestos – unless proven otherwise. It’s usually less expensive to perform an asbestos inspection and determine there isn’t any asbestos.

Asbestos Testing Basics

Because material testing can be damaging, it may be prudent to sample only those materials to be impacted or that have been already been damaged.  Otherwise the safest course is to avoid disturbing the suspect materials.

Air sampling for asbestos will not definitively tell whether there is asbestos in building materials.  Only sampling the material itself and analysis by an accredited laboratory can provide that answer.  Air sampling may be useful if there is a general concern about asbestos in the air or a suspicion that asbestos work was performed.   Air sampling should be performed after any known removal of asbestos materials and before re-occupancy.

Healthy Building Inspections can provide asbestos air testing services in suspected trouble spots, during abatement, and for asbestos clearance after abatement. Initial air testing can help identify if there is indeed asbestos in the ambient air. Air monitoring sampling during demolition or abatement is a common cost-saving strategy. Air sampling is often provided at the end of asbestos abatement projects, as part of a final inspection (clearance) of the abatement.

All tests performed by our Certified Asbestos Consultant and Industrial Hygienist

Air & Bulk Sampling may include:

  • Asbestos- Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) NIOSH 7400
  • Asbestos- Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) AHERA, Yamate II, or NIOSH 7402
  • Asbestos- Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)

Some of suspected material can include, but are not limited to the following.

Suspect Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs)

Asbestos Roof Removal
  • Vapor Barriers on or behind walls, ceilings, floors, or fixtures
  • Piping and Boiler Insulation
  • Heating System Components
  • Electrical: knob and tube wiring, insulation fuse box insulation
  • Vinyl Floor Tile and underlying mastic
  • Vinyl Sheet Flooring and backing
  • Linoleum flooring
  • Leveling Compound
  • Carpet Glue
  • Grout and mortar associated with ceramic tile
  • Baseboard and associated glues
  • Wallboard/Drywall/Sheetrock with joint or taping compound
  • Wall and ceiling plasters
  • Interior wall texture
  • Acoustical Ceiling Tiles
  • Ceiling tile glue
  • Sprayed acoustical ceiling texture
  • Window putty
  • Exterior Paints and waterproofing
  • Exterior Stucco
  • Exterior Transite siding (cementitious panels)
  • Roofing components including shingles, tars, papers, felts, and mastics