Asbestos ceilings are not easy to identify just by looking at them. Nevertheless, it is important to conduct the necessary tests to discover whether asbestos is present in the material. You can either gather samples yourself or hire an asbestos assessor. The samples are then sent to a NATA accredited laboratory where they are tested for the presence of asbestos and the type of mineral present. If the results are positive, then action has to be taken to either control or remove the asbestos ceiling.
Step # 1 – When was the Building Built?
Check construction records to discover when your building was built or the ceiling installed. If numerous renovations have been done in the past, then you should also look to see if an asbestos ceiling is hidden. Buildings constructed before the 1990s are highly likely to have an asbestos ceiling, but it is also necessary to check those built after this period. The then-famous popcorn ceilings are known to have asbestos, so if you have this type of ceiling you are at risk of inhaling the toxic fibres.If in doubt, assume that asbestos exists in the material.
Step # 2- Gather Samples
First you will need to turn off any ventilating system, air conditioning, or any other device that may cause the asbestos fibres to spread. You will need personal protective gear that consists of:
- Disposable gloves
- Disposable overalls
- A P2 or P3 Disposable Dust Respirator
No pockets or holes must be on the overalls, and the respirator should fit tightly on your face.
Dampen the area you intend to remove samples from. Do not use any power tools to cut or saw the area, as these can cause the fibres to spread easily. Your tools should be manual to prevent the airborne fibres from moving around. When you finally manage to remove a piece of the ceiling, the opening should be covered with PVA glue to contain the fibres. The samples should be wrapped in a thick plastic bag when you still have you protective gear on.
Step # 3- Get Laboratory Test
Only a NATA accredited laboratory should be used to conduct tests on suspect asbestos samples. You can easily find their locations in the Yellow Pages
Don’t take the risk of contaminating your livng environment, contact Asbestos Audits International today to have your ceilings assessed for deadly asbestos. ((click to open contact form)