Common Places Where Asbestos is found in Commercial Buildings
Posted in Asbestos Removal, on April 23, 2021
Simply put, asbestos materials are found in countless locations throughout commercial buildings. When asbestos materials were installed initially, they were ideal for fire resistance and were hardwearing for decades to come. But today, because of the established dangers of asbestos, there’s a growing need for asbestos removal and asbestos abatement.
In a commercial building, asbestos was used in everything from plumbing pipes to fire doors to wall insulation. Numerous building materials contained asbestos content, and the applications were widespread. Practically every part of a building contained asbestos.
- interior and exterior walls
- all types of linoleum flooring
- roofing and siding materials
- hot water tank insulation
- office ceiling treatments
- internal plumbing pipes
- insulated windows and doors
For building owners and managers who are uncertain about asbestos materials in a commercial building, the best approach is to err on the side of caution and to assume that asbestos is there.
The Health Risks of Asbestos
When asbestos fibers are tightly bound in floor tiles or wall insulation, there’s no significant health risk. However, there are certain health risks when asbestos fibers are disturbed and allowed to become airborne. This is when professional asbestos removal and asbestos abatement are required. Because asbestos was so commonly installed in commercial buildings, renovation work or maintenance work is bound to disturb the installed materials. This type of disturbance will create potential health risks for anyone exposed to the environment.
Asbestos Found in Floor Tiles
Floor tiles (and other flooring applications) made with asbestos were both hardwearing and long-lasting. The reason these materials were so resilient is that asbestos material was part of the finished product. In some cases, it’s possible to determine if asbestos is present just by the size of a floor tile, but this by no means an ideal observation. What’s important is to have a professional determine asbestos content and then recommend if asbestos removal and asbestos abatement is the best possible course of action.
Asbestos Materials in Stucco
Whether it’s a residential or a commercial property, it’s quite common to find asbestos in “stucco” materials and in decorative applications like “popcorn” ceilings. These are still present today in many homes and offices, although professionals would recommend removal. Beyond "stucco," there are other areas in a residential or commercial property where asbestos was installed and might be “hidden” or entirely out of sight. Understandably, these installations should not be disturbed as asbestos fibers could well be released into the air.
Asbestos in Drywall Compound
The “plastering” material used to seal drywall sheets in the middle 1980s was often mixed with asbestos. When left undisturbed, there shouldn't be any health risks. However, with renovation work or demolition work, a great deal of caution should be exercised. In Ontario, government regulations require that any areas that contain asbestos material or contain drywall joint-compound be abated professionally. This type of work should not be undertaken as a DIY project – the potential health hazards are far too risky.
Asbestos Found in Old Insulation
Asbestos insulation is probably the most significant source of asbestos-containing material. Unfortunately, it remains a health hazard in many residential and commercial properties. Decades ago, asbestos was considered ideal for insulation – that is until serious health hazards were revealed. Asbestos fibers are very heat resistant, and when installed as insulation, the material slows down heat transfer. On the downside, the terrible health effects make the material undesirable for anyone exposed to the airborne fibers.
For professional asbestos removal and asbestos abatement throughout Ontario, customers can count on Canada's Restoration Services for a team of technicians that are professionally certified and trained. To find out more, call 1-888-551-0514 or visit the company website at www.canadarestorationservices.com.