Many people have lots of questions about asbestos such as; What is it really, is it dangerous for health, what to do in the presence of asbestos, what happens with the price of my home that is for sale and what are the costs related to asbestos removal?
Asbestos is a generic term used to designate six different fibrous minerals that exist as they are in nature. A “fiber” is defined as a particle that is more than 5 micrometers (µm) long and has a length-to-width ratio of at least 3 to 1. Many Canadian laws specify that an asbestos fiber must also be at least 3 µm wide.
Due to its heat insulating properties, asbestos has been used in a wide range of manufactured products such as;
- Building materials (roofing shingles, roofing waterproofing materials, ceiling and floor tiles, paper and felt products, exterior cladding, as well as cement and plaster products containing asbestos.
- Friction materials (automobile clutch release pedal cover, brake linings, protective pads and shoes, transmission parts).
- Thermal protective and flame-retardant clothing.
- Furnaces and industrial heating systems.
- Asbestos-based fabrics (textiles).
- Thermal, electrical and acoustic insulation or packaging.
- Insulators for hot or cold areas.
- Packaging materials, seals, coatings and coatings.
- Reinforcement elements for plastic products, thermoset resins and thermoplastics.
- Fillers in resins, plastics and caulking as well as in road surfaces.
There is no significant health risk when the material that contains asbestos in your home or work is:
- Strongly linked in the original product, and that the latter is in good condition;
- Sealed behind walls and floors;
- Isolated in an attic;
- Left intact.
Asbestos poses a health hazard when the asbestos fibers are stirred up and end up in the air. In other words, asbestos poses a health risk only when fibers are suspended in the air and people breathe them. Fibers can be released into the air when products containing asbestos break down. This release can occur as a result of deterioration of the material or when it is cut or stirred.
The effects of damaged and airborne asbestos can be very harmful to your health, such as lung cancer.
The question everyone is asking, is;
Do we have to remove asbestos from a building?
Despite a maximum rate of 1% fixed to make an analysis during the presence of asbestos, what must be understood is that there is no rule which obliges asbestos removal when the product containing asbestos is in good condition and does not crumble. So, if the product is in good condition and the concentration of asbestos is present in large quantities in a residence, it is up to the owner or the contractor to see whether or not he decides to have it removed. Obviously if you are not sure of the condition of the product, your better have an evaluation made by an expert in order to assess the degree of presence of asbestos at low, medium or high, than to assume the consequences later.
On the other hand, conversely, even if the presence of asbestos is found in small quantities in a building but the products are crumbling and are not in good condition, the question does not even arise, asbestos removal is necessary.
Sale price of a residence
What about the price of a home you want to sell? If someone decides to sell his property with asbestos and displays it clearly when it is put up for sale, his selling price will certainly vary depending on whether the buyer knocking on his door has no problem to make the acquisition of the property with the presence of asbestos or that the buyer is one who will not take any risk with his health and that of his family and will oblige the asbestos removal in the conditions of purchase.
Asbestos removal price
You will certainly like to know that an asbestos removal contract will generally cost between $ 5,000 and $ 30,000, depending on the area and the degree of asbestos presence, although prices may also vary depending on the contractor.
Finally, since the government has banned the installation of asbestos in Canada since December 2018 (late enough to react in my opinion), it remains for everyone to understand that considering the cost of asbestos removal, all decisions should be taken largely depending on the condition of the product.
If in doubt … always seek the advice of an expert!