An asbestos inspection, also known as an asbestos survey, is a thorough investigation of a building or structure to determine the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in building materials and products for many years due to its strength, durability, and heat-resistant properties. However, it was later discovered that asbestos fibers can be hazardous to human health, and prolonged exposure can lead to serious health issues such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.
In an asbestos inspection, an EPA AHERA Accredited and the state-licensed asbestos inspector will conduct a visual assessment of the building to identify potential ACMs. The inspector will also take samples of suspected materials for laboratory analysis to confirm the presence of asbestos. The inspection process typically includes the following steps:
Site Visit and Inspection
Make sure your inspector is licensed and EPA AHERA accredited!
The first step in an asbestos inspection is a comprehensive site visit by the inspector. The inspector will conduct a visual inspection of the entire property, including all accessible areas, such as attics, crawl spaces, and basements. The inspector will look for any building materials that may contain asbestos, such as insulation, ceiling tiles, flooring, roofing materials, and pipes. The inspector will also look for signs of damage, wear, or deterioration in these materials that could release asbestos fibers.
If the inspector identifies suspected ACMs during the visual inspection, he or she will take samples of those materials. Samples are usually taken using a small, specialized tool that scrapes a small amount of material from the surface of the suspected ACM. The samples are then placed in sealed containers and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
The laboratory analysis is the most critical step in an asbestos inspection. The samples collected by the inspector are analyzed under a microscope to determine the presence and concentration of asbestos fibers. The laboratory analysis will also identify the type of asbestos fibers present, which is important in determining the potential health risks associated with the ACMs.
Report and Recommendations
Once the laboratory analysis is complete, the inspector will provide a detailed report that includes the findings of the inspection and the laboratory analysis. The report will identify the location, type, and condition of all ACMs found in the building. The report will also include recommendations for managing and removing the ACMs, as well as any necessary precautions to protect the health of the building occupants.
In conclusion, an asbestos inspection is a critical process in identifying and managing the risks associated with asbestos-containing materials in a building. It is important to hire a qualified and licensed asbestos inspector to ensure a thorough and accurate assessment of the property. If you suspect that your property may contain ACMs, contact a licensed asbestos inspector to schedule an inspection and protect the health and safety of your building occupants.