What is Involved with Asbestos Removal?

There are six naturally fibrous minerals that make up asbestos, which are used in a number of products because of the strength and flexibility of these fibers. Asbestos can be found in most homes that predate the 1970s in building materials such as flooring, tiling roofing, paint and plumbing. Through the years, personal injury cases have been due to negligent asbestos exposure.

The Dangers of Asbestos

From 1999-2013, the National Institute of Health has reported more than 37,000 lives lost from mesothelioma, a disease caused by asbestos. It can take anywhere from 10-40 years for asbestos related diseases to develop. Asbestos fibers are tiny and light and can be released into the air when a product containing asbestos is damaged or disturbed. They can pose serious hazards when accidentally ingested or inhaled. Exposure to asbestos could result in diseases such as:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Intestinal Cancer
  • Asbestosis Pleural Plaques
  • Mesothelioma

In order to remove asbestos safely, it is important to have it removed by a professional with it come to homes and commercial buildings that have asbestos.   

Detecting Asbestos

It is not advisable to attempt to remove asbestos by yourself if you suspect that your building contains asbestos. For safe asbestos removal, there are a variety of safety and legal guidelines that need to be followed. You will want to work with an asbestos contractor with the credentials to remove or repair asbestos materials in your home or workplace. Testing will need to occur at an accredited lab and samples may be removed in bulk due to there not being any available on site testing tools.

How is Asbestos Removed?

There are four methods that may be used when it comes to asbestos abatement. A contractor will determine the need based on your home.

  1. Repair: Is when a contractor repairs the materials that were damaged and contain asbestos to prevent any fibers from being released.
  2. Encapsulation: Asbestos materials are sealed off to prevent exposure.
  3. Removal: A licensed contractor can carry out a method for removing all material containing asbestos.
  4. Enclosure: In order to prevent exposure, asbestos is removed through the use of an airtight structure.

There are a number of steps that a contractor will need to follow when removing asbestos that may include:

  • Sealing off the area from the rest of the building or property
  • Using an air filtration system within the environment to conceal air within the exposed area.
  • An abatement crew that will remove asbestos by scraping and sanding within the sealed off area.
  • Disposing of asbestos at an authorized landfill in containers where asbestos fibers cannot escape.
  • A crew will decontaminate the area by cleaning the space and removing all traces of the fiber.
  • Final inspection of the space to ensure that there is no asbestos remaining in the space.

To ensure that asbestos abatement is successful, a team that is specialized and experienced is required. In most cases, it is required to go through training and receive a certification in order to remove asbestos. Accessing a company in your area to assess, remove and dispose of toxic materials from the affected space will require an experiences asbestos removal company. Demolition services Malibu CA residents rely on can make this process much easier.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Nielsen Environmental for their insight into asbestos removal.