Asbestos Removal Terms You Should Know

If an inspection has revealed the presence of asbestos in your home or office, and you have had no prior experience with this material, you probably have a lot of questions about what to expect next. But you don't have to be in the dark about asbestos removal because much of the terminology that asbestos removal services use is easy to understand. Here's a quick primer on some of the most common terms you are likely to hear as the removal process begins.

Friable Asbestos -- Friable asbestos is asbestos that, when touched, becomes flaky or powdery and is released into the air. Friable asbestos is the type of asbestos that is most dangerous to your health because you can inhale it once it's airborne. Friable asbestos can also settle on your skin and penetrate into your pores, so inhalation is not the only way it can enter your bloodstream.

Bonded Asbestos -- Bonded asbestos is bonded to some other kind of material such as brick, stone or concrete, and as a result, it is not capable of becoming airborne unless the material breaks down or is damaged in a way that releases the asbestos. It is the type of asbestos that poses far less of a health risk than friable asbestos, but if you have a great deal of bonded asbestos in your flooring or furniture, an asbestos removal company may recommend that you get rid of it in order to prevent it from ever becoming friable.

Wet Decontamination -- Asbestos removal has two main methods: wet decontamination and dry decontamination. Wet decontamination is a process in which asbestos remediation workers use wet cloths to wipe down areas that contain friable asbestos. This is an effective removal method because it prevents friable asbestos from entering the air and posing a greater health risk. Asbestos removal workers can only use wet cloths once, and they are not permitted to dip the cloths in a water bucket as they work, as this will contaminate the water.

Dry Decontamination -- Dry decontamination is a lesser-used form of removal in which asbestos remediation workers use dry asbestos vacuums to suction up friable asbestos from contaminated surfaces. In some instances, asbestos removal specialists will wrap contaminated items in sealed plastic sheets and transport them out of your home or office to complete the removal in a safe facility. Dry decontamination is typically used only in situations in which wet decontamination is too risky due to electrical hazards, because it involves no actually cleaning and sanitising, which is less effective in removing friable asbestos.