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ASBESTOS 101


Deal with Known Asbestos?
How to Remove Asbestos?
How to Get to Our Lab




Asbestos Containing Material

Deal with Known Asbestos?

If asbestos is found, the best and first thing to do is to avoid the area as much as you can and not to disturb the material any further. Depending on the circumstances, you may chose to do one of the following.

Leave it alone

Asbestos becomes a health risk if it is disturbed or deteriorating and fibers are released into the air. If the asbestos-containing material is in good condition, or it is a low percentage non-friable ACM, you may chose not to do anything except knowing it is asbestos containg, and care should be taken. Advise everyone in who have access to it, and supervise the activities of the children.

Here's an example of leaving asbestos alone. Rather than removing a sheet vinyl floor with asbestos backing, it may be possible to lay the new sheet vinyl on top of the old, or install a new plywood underlayment on top of the existing and then the new sheet vinyl.

Repair or encapsulate

If asbestos-containing material is damaged, subject to being damaged, then you may consider repair or encapsulate the asbestos containing material.

asbestos can be repaired or encapsulated rather than removed. A few inches of torn, loose, or frayed asbestos tape-wrap on heating ducts can be sealed with coating material. Damaged hot water pipe insulation can be covered with a specially designed fabric.

Similarly, some asbestos applications that are in good condition can be encapsulated to stabilize them and reduce the likelihood of asbestos releases. Encapsulation often is the best option when dealing with insulation on heating systems.

There are two types of encapsulants. Penetrating encapsulants seep into asbestos-containing materials and bond with asbestos fibers. They have little impact on the outward appearance of treated materials. Bridging encapsulating products, such as paint. Coat asbestos-containing materials with a more durable surface. They are most commonly used to encapsulate popcorn ceilings and furnace heat duct insulation.

Homeowners should be aware, however that although encapsulation seems like an attractive option, especially when dealing with furnace ducts or in sealing popcorn ceilings, they may end up with more costs and risks down the road. For example, painting may make a future removal much more difficult. It also can cause heavy popcorn applications or popcorn that has been water-damaged, to fall off ceilings in clumps.

You may re-seal or encapsulate the asbestos in its location and without notifying our agency if it is not disturbed.

Remove It Yourself

In cases there's extensive asbestos damage or disturbance, removal may be the more appropriate, and the only option.

Although itís not recommended because the health risk, you may remove the asbestos yourself if you live in and own your single-family house and new homeowners may remove asbestos prior to occupying their house.

Follow these procedures if you decise to remove the asbestos yourself.



File Notification with Puget Sound Clean Air. The filing is required only if you are removing more than 10 linear feet of pipe or 48 square feet of surface area of friable asbestos. No notification is needed if youíre removing non-friable asbestos containing material, or itís less than 10 linear feet of pipe or 48 square feet of surface area , even if itís friable asbestos material. Removing friable asbestos containing material of less than 10 linear feet of pipe or 48 square feet of surface area is allowed only once per calendar year.

When you are removing friable asbestos containing material of more than 10 linear feet of pipe or 48 square feet of surface area as a homeowner, you need to file Single-Family Residence Notification.

Properly remove asbestos following Regulation III, Section 4.05 (b), and following guidelines for different friable material.

How to Properly Remove Spray-on "Popcorn" Ceilings From Owner-Occupied, Single-Family Residences Only

How to Properly Remove Sheet Vinyl Flooring with Asbestos Backing From Owner-Occupied, Single-Family Residences Only

How to Properly Remove Cement Asbestos-Board Siding From Owner-Occupied, Single-Family Residences Only

Although no notification is needed for non-friable asbestos-containing material, you must remove it by following the Method of Removal for Non-friable, Asbestos-Containing Material as noted in Regulation III, Section 4.05 (c)

Take both friable and non-friable asbestos-containing waste to an Asbestos Disposal Waste Facility authorized to receive the waste.

Remember that friable asbestos-containing material must be disposed within 10 days you remove it, and you must complete and bring an Asbestos Waste Material Shipment Record to the disposal site.

Hire a Contractor to Remove It

This is the best option when it comes to asbestos remove. Make sure to hire a certified, insured, and bonded asbestos abatement contractor for the job. These are highly trained professionals who know how to remove asbestos properly, and how to protect you and the environmental by not releasing asbestos into your home or to the air.

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