Demolition with Asbestos: Knowing the Difference

Created on:

April 28, 2023

Demolition is a complex process, and it's important to understand the difference between demolition with asbestos and demolition without it. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used in many building materials until its use was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1989. It causes serious health problems if inhaled or ingested over time! This is why it's important to know if you're working with this type of material before you begin demolition work on your home or business premises.

Understanding Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral that was used in many buildings for insulation between the 1940s and 1980s, until it was found to be harmful to human health. Asbestos is not always easy to identify because it looks like other minerals or rocks.

Asbestos is commonly found in buildings where people worked with heavy machinery such as construction sites or auto shops. Sometimes homes built before 1980 contain asbestos as well. If you're demolishing a structure with asbestos, you must take precautions beforehand! Demolition crews don't want to breathe in asbestos dust while removing walls or floors containing this dangerous substance.

Demolition Without Asbestos

When a building doesn’t have asbestos, demo crews take the normal precautions during the tear down process. Demolition is the process of dismantling or destroying a structure, whether it's a house, a commercial building, or an industrial facility. The general demolition process involves several steps, starting with an assessment of the site and the development of a plan for the demolition. Depending on the size and complexity of the structure, demolition may involve the use of heavy equipment like bulldozers, excavators, and cranes. After the structure is taken apart, the debris is removed and disposed of properly. 

Demolition With Asbestos

Demolition practices with asbestos require additional steps to ensure the safety of occupants and workers. Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are often found in many older buildings in the United States. ACMs are removed by trained professionals who use special equipment to protect themselves from exposure to the toxic substance.
The first step in demolition with asbestos is identifying what materials contain asbestos so you know how to handle them safely during demolition work. You may need a professional inspection before beginning any work on your property, especially if you're unsure whether there's any ACM present in your building or structure. This helps ensure that no one gets hurt by accidentally disturbing an ACM during demolition activities.

Legal Considerations

When considering asbestos removal during demolition, there are specific federal regulatory requirements that require the identification of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in many residential buildings that are being demolished or renovated. Additionally, there may be state and local regulations that apply to the identification of such materials. Typically, any asbestos waste generated during the project must be wetted before it is double bagged in 6-millimeter plastic bags and enclosed in a plastic, leak-tight container with a lid and proper labeling. It’s only disposed of in special landfills that are designated to receive asbestos waste.

Hiring a Professional

If you are planning to demolish a building, it is important that you hire a professional who has experience in handling asbestos. Asbestos is a toxic material that causes serious health problems if not handled properly. Finding the right person for this job helps ensure that your project goes smoothly and safely.
Here are some things to look for when hiring an asbestos removal company:

  • They should have written documentation of their qualifications and training on site safety, including how they handle potential hazards like asbestos during demolition projects. This documentation should also include proof of insurance coverage in case anything goes wrong during their work on your property.
  • The company should have experience working with local governments or other regulatory agencies (such as OSHA) so they know what regulations apply where you live.
  • Ask if they offer any specialized services such as air monitoring equipment or respirators designed specifically for removing asbestos from buildings.
  • Make sure there is someone available 24 hours a day in case something goes wrong with an employee's health while he or she is working onsite.

Demolition with asbestos is a complex and dangerous process that requires careful planning and execution. Understanding the differences between demolition with and without asbestos, as well as the legal requirements for handling asbestos, is essential for ensuring safety and compliance. By following proper procedures and hiring licensed professionals, demolition with asbestos is safely and effectively carried out. If you have questions about demolition with asbestos, contact our team at Alliance Environmental. We’re happy to answer any questions. 

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