Alternatives To Removing Asbestos-Containing Material

Posted on: 19 May 2015

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When asbestos-containing material is found in either a residence of a business, the ideal solution is to remove it. But sometimes that is prohibitively difficult. That's when an asbestos abatement team can come in. An asbestos abatement team has many ways that they can deal with asbestos, only one of which is to get rid of it outright. It's important to remember that asbestos isn't harmful unless it infiltrates the air, at which time it becomes hazardous when breathed. As long as the asbestos can be contained, it's usually not a risk.

Painting and Sealing Away Asbestos

If asbestos is inside of material in the ceilings, walls or other structural areas of a property, it can often be painted or sealed away using a special paint or sealant. Multiple coats should be used and care should be taken not to break or damage the asbestos-containing material while this job is being done. As with any job that involves asbestos, the asbestos abatement team will need to wear protective gear, including gloves and a breathing mask. A problem with this solution is that the paint and seal can eventually chip away-- requiring future treatment.

Encapsulation Coating

Encapsulation coating is a special type of coating that bonds to asbestos and attempts to keep it from entering into the air. The upside is that this is usually more effective than ordinary thin paints and seals. The downside is that it is a fairly thick coating that appears like a rubber; it's not really suitable for interior use, such as to coat over an acoustic ceiling. (In fact, most sprayed acoustic coatings cannot be easily covered with anything except another form of spray, such as a spray paint.)

Increased Insulation

If asbestos is in an area that is never accessed, such as the attic, increased insulation can keep any asbestos fibers isolated from the rest of the property. As an example, insulation foam can be used in any areas where air might pass through the attic and enter into the home, thereby keeping the asbestos contained. 

Though asbestos can be safely sealed away, it's still preferable to remove it entirely. Investing in a complete asbestos removal is usually worth the money. An asbestos abatement team can tell you more about their services and whether they advise either getting rid of the asbestos or simply trying to manage the problem. It's worth it to note that there are some environments in which the asbestos really cannot be removed safely -- such as if you are in an apartment that connects to other units.