When demolishing older facilities, traces of asbestos are often present in the construction debris. This poses risks both to demolition contractors and the neighborhood as a whole. How do you conduct this job safely without exposing others to the harms of asbestos?
After the dangers of asbestos became well-documented, it was less common for this material to be used in the construction of new buildings. However, it was incredibly popular before this time due to its low cost, durability, and insulating and fire-resistant properties.
Those who inhale the fibers are put at risk for developing respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis. During a demolition project, asbestos fibers may become airborne.
When handling, demolishing, or removing asbestos, caution must be exercised. Here are a few methods that are used to control asbestos during demolition projects:
Before the demolition can begin, the building must be carefully assessed to determine if and where asbestos is present.
Identifying high-risk areas is a necessity. Common sources of asbestos include:
- Ceiling tiles
- Floor tiles
Taking a thorough inventory of where asbestos is present allows contractors to plan accordingly. This step should be performed with any demolition project.
Creating a Plan
Once the building has been inspected, the contractors must create a detailed plan of action. Specific strategies and control methods are required to minimize the amount of dust that’s produced by the demolition.
The demolition plan must factor in all the locations where asbestos was detected, and describe precisely how the material will be removed. It should include safety precautions and potential hazards of the project.
Once the inspecting and planning process is complete, the demolition can begin.
When removing asbestos, contractors are required to wear the type of respirator that’s designed to filter out the harmful fibers. These masks will protect the health of the workers if the asbestos is disturbed.
By thoroughly saturating the asbestos with water, the release of fibers is effectively controlled. This is one of the primary methods used to diminish the hazards of asbestos. Contractors should always have a wetting agent handy in case they come across any asbestos during a demolition project.
When disposing of the asbestos, it needs to be placed in a labeled container and separated from other debris. The bag or container used to carry the material must be completely sealed within a durable container. Not all waste facilities can properly dispose of asbestos, so the contractor should refer to local guidelines for disposal sites.
Many things can go wrong during a demolition project, especially when asbestos is present. Asbestos education is essential for any contracting company.
The dangers of asbestos are not immediately detectable—the latency period may last between 20-30 years. Because of the dangers, receiving the proper training before a demolition project is a requirement for any contractor.
It’s important to work with demolition companies that adhere to regulations surrounding the safe removal of this material. That’s why you need New Jersey demolition services from highly experienced contractors who are specifically trained to handle asbestos.
At Bella Contracting, we have over 20 years of experience with industrial, residential, and commercial facilities. Contact us today to receive a free quote for your next demolition project.