Posted on: 6 June 2016
By the time they're moving into a new home, many people are not aware that they're required to have and to maintain an updated asbestos management plan. Upon this realization, several homeowners choose to draft plans on their own due to the relative ease of this activity. This article provides answers to three common questions that a new homeowner may have about asbestos.
Before drafting an asbestos management plan, you'll need to identify the various asbestos-containing materials within and around the residential premises, the type of asbestos contained in these materials and the distribution of these materials. Common materials that may contain asbestos in the residential set-up include vinyl floor tiles, asphalt roof shingles and thermal insulation used on drainage pipes.
What's The Difference Between Friable And Non-Friable Asbestos?
Asbestos is considered friable when the asbestos fibers contained in a material are easily crumbled when a bit of pressure is applied on to the material (typically using a finger). Friable asbestos poses a greater risk than its non-friable counterpart because of the loose and unbounded nature of its fibres. For this reason, friable asbestos fibres become airborne (and therefore dangerous) with relative ease.
Materials that contain non-friable asbestos are less of a threat because the asbestos fibres in these materials are often contained within the internal structure of the material. This makes it difficult for asbestos fibres to become airborne.
What If You're Unsure Of The Presence Of Asbestos In A Material?
For many homeowners, it may not be easy to determine the presence of asbestos in a material at first glance. This is especially true when the structural condition of the material is good.
Due to the high risk posed by exposure to asbestos fibres, homeowners are advised to assume that there's asbestos in a particular material until this assumption is refuted by a laboratory test or by a licensed asbestos assessor.
When Should Asbestos-Containing Materials Be Left Undisturbed?
Contrary to what many homeowners may think, drafting an asbestos management plan doesn't automatically translate to a need for asbestos removal. Asbestos fibres in an asbestos-containing material only become a threat when the fibres become airborne.
If the structural condition of an asbestos-containing material doesn't leave asbestos fibres exposed (e.g. an asbestos-containing material buried deep in the soil), chances of the fibres becoming airborne are nearly eliminated. In such situations, disturbing the material may trigger the release of asbestos fibres into the air. Leaving the material undisturbed would be the best course of action.Share