News

Asbestos Testing Prior to Commercial Demolition

Asbestos Testing Prior to Commercial DemolitionWhether you are a commercial building owner or a contractor who will be demolishing a building or performing an internal demo, you’ll need to first safely remove any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) prior to beginning the project.

This can be a frustrating process, however, as there are a number of state and federal regulations that need to be adhered to when removing ACMs and testing for clean air to ensure the safety of you and your workers before any demolition can start. Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind before taking on a demolition project, as well as some tips for working with an asbestos testing lab.

EPA Regulations

Under the Clean Air Act, all commercial demolition and renovation projects need to follow a specific set of asbestos safety guidelines. First, the owner of the building will need to notify their state agency prior to starting any demolition or renovation so that a thorough third-party inspection can take place. The inspector will then check for any asbestos containing materials that may be present in the building, which will require professional asbestos removal before the demo project can move forward.

It’s important to note that there are also a set of regulations for removing ACMs from a commercial building, so building owners will need to bring in an asbestos removal company in order to comply with these regulations. Additionally, because asbestos particles are too small to be seen with the naked eye, working with a professional asbestos testing company is the only way to know for sure if all ACMs have been properly removed.

Keeping Your Workers Safe

All asbestos removal contractors and their employees demoing or renovating schools or public and commercial buildings need to be accredited and trained in proper asbestos handling and removal under programs that follow the standards set by the EPA’s Model Accreditation Plan (MAP). On top of this requirement, there may be additional state or local regulations that you’ll need to make sure you meet before, during and after asbestos abatement.

In addition to following local, state and federal asbestos removal regulations, there are steps you can take to make sure your workers are safe while handing ACMs. One of the most important aspects of asbestos abatement worker safety is to provide the right protective clothing and equipment and ensure that all workers know and understand how to properly utilize them. These items may include:

  • Approved safety gear, such as coveralls, gloves, masks and respirators
  • HEPA certified vacuums and other asbestos removal equipment
  • Posters or signs notifying workers of asbestos containing materials
  • Proper OSHA training

Working with an Asbestos Testing Lab

Once asbestos removal companies have taken the necessary precautions and properly removed all known ACMs from the site, the next step is to work with an asbestos testing lab to perform post-remediation testing. This final test will determine whether or not all traces of asbestos fibers have been removed so that demolition or renovations can safely begin. In the event that asbestos is still detected in the air based on the lab sample results, your asbestos testing company can work with you until lab samples show that all asbestos fibers are gone.

What Else Do You Need To Know About Asbestos Testing?

If you still have questions about how asbestos testing works and what the process entails, take a look at our FAQ page for more information. If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (908) 206-0073 and one of our friendly team members would be happy to help you.

Read More
home-inspections-why-quality-is-key

Home Inspections: Why Quality Is Key!

home-inspections-why-quality-is-keyYou’ve just found your dream house and you’re anxious to get the ball rolling so you can move in and live happily ever after. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new home, it’s easily one of the biggest investment a person might make in their lifetime. Home inspections are an important step in the home buying process. Read this article to learn about home inspections: why quality is key. 

It’s important that you take the proper precautions to make sure the house you’re buying is a safe place to call home. From the untrained professional there are details that might go unnoticed. A thorough home inspection will help bring the true condition of the home to light and give the buyer confidence that he’s making the right decision.

Why Are Home Inspections Important?

Even though you might think you’ve found your dream home, it’s your inspector’s job to make sure that your home is in a good, safe condition and doesn’t need any major repairs. A certified home inspector will analyze the property and all its major functions such as; major mechanical systems such as furnace and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical components, as well as an overall analysis of the roof.

A home inspector will also determine whether the home has any potential hazardous health risks like mold, lead paint or asbestos. If your home does have one of these flaws, don’t freak out just yet. A professional and qualified home inspector should also be able to suggest other professionals who can help remove and  remedy the problem.

Once the home inspection is complete  the inspector should give you a detailed report, from there it is the buyer’s responsibility to follow up with any questions or concerns. Moving forward you can discuss the results with your realtor to decide if this purchase is right for you. You can also review the results with the sellers and ask them to repair some of the things on your priority list. Having the home inspection will help you plan what kind of costs you’re willing to put into the home after the closing.

What If My Home Inspector Finds Asbestos?

If your home inspector suspects there may be asbestos or asbestos containing materials than it’s a good idea to contact a professional who is certified to treat the material. There is a step by step process to remedy the issue.

Inspection Of The Property

You just had a home inspection, so why does the property need to be inspected again? If the home is suspected to have asbestos than one of our certified and trained professional to come out and inspect all of the problem areas and areas that are thought to have asbestos and samples of those materials will be collected.

Samples – Sent To The Lab

Samples are sent to our Certified Laboratory facility under the Environmental Standard criteria. Each piece of material will be analyzed and tested for further findings.

Lab Analysis and Solutions

Once the lab has completed the testing an easy to read report will be generated and available to go over. If the tests show (ACM Asbestos Containing Material) than it is time to start looking for a remediation service company.

Post Remediation

After the asbestos has been removed and the home is thought to be safe of any hazardous materials,  a third party company must perform what is commonly called Clearance Air Test to ensure there is no asbestos fibers present in the air.

Why Should You Choose A Professional?

The potential buyer has the choice of who does the home inspection. It’s important that you do the research a choose someone who is qualified to do a thorough inspection. This sometimes goes deeper than just a look at some of the homes major mechanical systems. There are some other tests that can be done that may be helpful to you based on the condition of your home.

Older homes may have some hidden issues that are naked to the eye. Your home inspector should be able to tell you by the age of the home and overall condition of some of those tests are necessary for further investigation.

If there is an issue of asbestos it’s best to hire someone who is certified and trained to handle the situation. Dealing with asbestos can be a potential health risk to you and your family. If it’s not dealt with properly it could lead to bigger problems.

Choosing a home inspector is really important. Choosing a certified and qualified inspector could be crucial to the outcome of your home inspection. It’s a good idea to have some questions prepared so you can see how each person differs.

Questions To Ask A Home Inspector:

  • Are you licensed?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have a limitation of liability clause in your contract?
  • What experience do you have that is related to home inspections?
  • If you miss something in the home inspection, what happens?
  • Are your inspectors infrared (IR) certified?
  • How do you inspect tall roofs above two stories?
  • How is my report delivered to me?
  • How long does it take to get a report?

A good quality home inspector will play a big part in your home inspection. When purchasing  a home, make sure you educate about the process so you can make the best possible decisions.

What Else Do You Need To Know About Home Inspections?

If you still have questions about home inspections and why it’s important to contact a professional, take a look at our FAQ page for more information. If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (908) 206-0073 and one of our friendly team members would be happy to help you.

Read More
asbestos-home-renovations-what-you-need-to-know

Asbestos & Home Renovations: What You Need to Know

asbestos-home-renovations-what-you-need-to-knowStarting any renovation project on your home can be an exciting adventure. However, it could also pose a serious threat to your health if you’re unsure of whether or not there may be asbestos in your home.

Because the primary health risks occur when tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air, a DIY home renovation project can quickly turn into a dangerous situation if you’re not careful. Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle this problem on your own. Here is some important information about asbestos and home renovations and what you can do if you need help detecting and testing for asbestos materials.

Understanding the Risk of Asbestos in the Home

As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and that is certainly true when dealing with materials that could potentially contain asbestos, which can be very hazardous to your health. So before you dig into a home renovation project, you’ll want to assess the likelihood that your house contains asbestos materials so that you can take the necessary precautions.

Some telltale signs that may indicate the presence of asbestos in your home include:

  • The structure was built before 1980
  • Your home contains old floor tiles, laminate, cement sheet, pipe cement or original roof shingles
  • Your older home has never been professionally renovated before

While looking for these signs and types of materials is a good place to start, the only way to know for sure if your home contains asbestos is to have a professional perform an asbestos test on any suspected areas of your home. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that you can do on your own, because asbestos is impossible to detect with the naked eye and you could create a larger risk while searching for asbestos-containing materials than just leaving them alone and calling in a professional.

Treat All Materials Like They Contain Asbestos

If you’ve already started your renovation project and have come across materials that you think could contain asbestos, the best approach is to treat all suspected materials as though they have already tested positive for asbestos. This means that you should discontinue all demolition efforts and leave those materials as undisturbed as possible. This will help to reduce the risk that harmful asbestos particles could be released into the air.

Find an Asbestos Testing Lab

The next step is to find an asbestos testing lab so that you can know for sure if you need to hire a team of professionals to remove it before safely continuing with your renovation project.

In order to test for asbestos, a certified and trained professional will inspect your home for asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), as well as perform an air quality test. Then, the samples that were collected from your home will be sent off to a laboratory for testing. You will then be notified of the results of these tests.

How to Get Rid of Asbestos

At this point, many homeowners often wonder if taking on asbestos removal themselves is an option. Since breathing in the asbestos particles that will be released during the removal process is what makes this substance so dangerous, you should always rely on a reputable asbestos remediation company to do this for you.

Once the ACMs have been removed from your house, an asbestos testing company will need to return to perform what’s called a clearance air test to make sure that there are no longer asbestos particles inside your home. After this final test comes back showing no signs of asbestos, you’ll have the green light to move full speed ahead on your renovations!

Want to learn more about how Iris Labs can help you with your construction or renovation project? CONTACT US TODAY 

Read More
5 health risks caused by asbestos

5 Health Risks Caused By Asbestos

5 health risks caused by asbestosAsbestos is a building material that was used pretty widely across the U.S. prior to the 1980s. It was then that asbestos was thought of as a solution to various industries to help build homes. However, there are health risks caused by asbestos. 

Asbestos is a group of naturally-occurring fibrous minerals. It’s strong and heat resistant. This made is popular in building materials such as including building and pipe insulation, and friction products.

It wasn’t until after years of use that it was deemed seriously dangerous, even deadly to those exposed to it. Asbestos is a serious health risk and can cause harm. If you think you might have been exposed to asbestos or live in a home where you suspect asbestos, read this article to learn 5 health risks caused by asbestos.

Health Risks Caused By Asbestos

Laryngeal Cancer

Laryngeal cancer is cancer of the larynx, also known as the voice box. Researchers have suspected that people who inhaled asbestos got it’s fibers lodged into the voice making its way to the lungs. The fibers cause irritation which eventually lead to cancer.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a lung disease that is said to be caused by scarring of the lung tissue. Exposure the asbestos can cause a person to breath in the dangerous fibers. The fibers will attach themselves to the lung walls and over time cause scarring. Over time the lungs will become irritated and the tissue becomes thick. This can be painful causing chest pains and shortness of breath.

Clubbed Fingers

People with asbestosis often develop clubbed fingers. This is actually an early sign of the disease where the tips of the fingers are swollen and look like a square shape. This happens when there is a dangerously low blood levels of oxygen.

Pleural Plaques

Pleural plaques are caused by deposits of fiberglass and rock left from the asbestos. The pleura contains two layers: An inner layer that lines the lungs, and an outer layer that lines the ribs. The presence of asbestos fibers can cause these layers to inflame and rub against each other, a condition called pleuritis. Unfortunately there is no cure for this disease and serious medication is required for treatment.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, it affects the inner linings of organ walls in the chest and the stomach. Typically this is caused to exposure to asbestos is the work place, but you may not notice symptoms until years later, sometimes as late as 30 years past the time of exposure.  To date there is no cure for this disease.

Avoiding Asbestos Exposure

Since asbestos is banned from use, newer homes may not be in danger of containing any remnant of the substance. However, it is important to keep away from asbestos if you suspect it in your home or workplace. There are safety procedures set in place to evaluate the area in question and do proper asbestos testing. From there it’s important to understand the information on asbestos give from the testing lab. Once this is given talk to a professional about whether the asbestos needs to be removed and if it is a threat to your health.

Read More

5 Asbestos Facts You Didn’t Know

5 Asbestos Facts You Didn’t KnowBecause of its fire- and water-resistant properties, asbestos has long been used as a versatile building material. It was commonly used in homes, schools, and other structures until fairly recently when its serious health hazards came to light. Now, home inspectors check for asbestos before a sale is able to go through.

If you’re concerned that your home might contain this material, which could be putting you and your family at risk, here is some information  that could help.

1. Asbestos Was a Popular Building Material Until the 1980s

The dangers include an increased risk for lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses such as asbestosis, were largely unknown to the public until the 1980s. As a result, homes built before this period have a higher likelihood of contamination.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to have your home inspected, especially if you’re planning on remodeling any part of your home, which could release dangerous asbestos fibers into the air.

2. Not All Asbestos-Containing Products Are Banned in the U.S.

Despite the fact that the health hazards of asbestos are now widely recognized, not all materials that contain it have been banned in the United States. This means that even new construction could potentially contain asbestos.

According to the EPA, just some of the asbestos-containing materials that are currently not banned in the U.S. include:

  • Cement sheet
  • Roofing felt and roof coatings
  • Vinyl floor tile
  • Cement shingle and pipe
  • Millboard

3. Asbestos Poses a Health Risk When Inhaled or Ingested

Asbestos becomes dangerous when its dust particles are released into the air, where they can be easily inhaled or ingested. Because of this, many people are unaware that they have been exposed to it at all.

Before you begin a home renovation or DIY remodeling project, get your home assessed  to make sure you’re not unknowing putting yourself and your family at risk.

Keep in mind, too, that even drilling, sanding, or pressure-washing materials that contain asbestos could potentially release the harmful fibers into the air, so it’s important to know for sure whether or not your home contains this material before moving forward with a project.

4. Asbestos Can Be Difficult to Detect

Another reason it can be such a challenging problem for homeowners is that it is often difficult or even impossible to detect by simply visually inspecting your home. This is because the fibers that cause these health risks are generally too small to see with the naked eye.

Additionally, because so many different building materials could possibly contain asbestos, there’s no surefire way to tell whether or not you might be at risk by simply performing a self-evaluation of the building. If you’re unsure about the presence of asbestos in any part of your home, it’s better to play it safe and have samples professionally tested.

5. Only a Licensed Professional Should Assess and Remove Asbestos

If lab tests come back showing that your home does contain asbestos, the next step is to take steps to safely remediate it. Attempting to remove asbestos from your home yourself, however, can be much more dangerous than just leaving it alone. If you have an asbestos problem, the best way to get rid of it is to rely on trained and certified professionals who can safely and effectively remove it.

Then, once you’ve called in the professionals, it’s a good idea to have the air quality of your home retested to make sure that all traces of asbestos are gone to give you the peace of mind that you and your family are safe.

Want To Know More Facts?

If you still have questions about asbestos take a look at our FAQ page for more information. If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (908) 206-0073 and one of our friendly team members would be happy to help you.

Read More
how to spot asbestos

How To Tell If Your House Has Asbestos

How To Tell If Your House Has AsbestosThe word asbestos can be scary for many people. If you’re in the market to buy a home or maybe doing some remodeling, you might want learn more information on what asbestos is, how you can spot it, and most importantly how to treat it. Check out the rest of this article to learn more on how you can tell if your house has asbestos.

How To Tell If Your House Has Asbestos

Generally asbestos is not identifiable by the naked eye. It’s a mixture of natural fibrous minerals that’s odorless and colorless. However, there are signs that your home could be at risk for asbestos. Homes built prior to 1980 are at a larger risk of having asbestos contaminated products. This was before there was a ban on the material.

Some construction materials used that could potentially be hazardous due to asbestos contamination include:

  • Old floor tiles or laminate
  • Roof shingles
  • Pipe cement
  • Insulation
  • Heat and water piping

The only way to be sure if your home is contains asbestos is to have professional testing done on suspected areas in your home.

Asbestos Removal: Is It A DIY Project?

When going through any kind of real estate transaction most people have a budget. If you’re a handy person it’s a smart idea to do some home projects yourself, especially if you’re trying to cut back on costs. However, asbestos removal is very different then painting your walls, or putting in new lighting fixtures.

When asbestos is disturbed and the fibers get into the air, breathing them in can be extremely hazardous to your health. If you suspect your home has asbestos, it’s best to seek professional help and have the area properly tested before doing any attempted removal, cleaning, or construction yourself.

What To Do If Your House Has Asbestos

If your home does test for asbestos it’s best to have a certified company come in and do the necessary asbestos removal. The process of removal will be determined by what kind of asbestos and where in the home it’s located. In some cases, if the materials containing asbestos are in good condition and fibers can not be released it’s best to leave them alone and not disrupt them, but the areas should be monitored for any future deterioration. After the removal is completed, air quality testing should be done to ensure that the asbestos was properly treated and the homeowners are no longer at risk.

Calling A Professional

Whether your home needs a temporary solution or a complete asbestos removal, it’s important that you call a professional to come to your home and properly do the testing and give the pending results. Most home repair companies are not certified to do asbestos removal. Do you research or ask for a referral to a professional who will help keep you and your home safe.

Still Have Questions About Asbestos?

If you still have questions about asbestos testing , take a look at our FAQ page for more information. If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (908) 206-0073 and one of our friendly team members would be happy to help you.

Read More
got mold

Got Mold?

Got Mold? Mold exists naturally everywhere, indoors and outdoors. There is no such thing as mold-free environment. Remediation is all about putting the mold level back to normal.

Read More

Asbestos Assessment

What is an asbestos assessment?

An asbestos assessment is when a certified individual inspects a building for the presence, location and quantification of asbestos-containing material (ACM) or suspected ACM. ACM is defined as material that contains greater than 1% asbestos. An asbestos inspection also includes re-examining of building or facility to identify the presence or location of additional or existing ACM or suspected.

Read More

Why should I worry about Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral with useful properties. Asbestos possess thermal stability, strength, and good insulating abilities. Asbestos cannot be seen with the naked eye. The bad news is asbestos may cause diseases if it is not handled properly. Asbestos may be anywhere in your home.  Following are places where asbestos can be found in your home:

Read More