Showing posts with label Asbestos Ducts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asbestos Ducts. Show all posts

Monday, October 2, 2017

Asbestos Ducts in the home......

Removing Asbestos From Home Is Costly, Messy, Vital to Health : Threat: While the public is becoming more aware of the asbestos peril, many homeowners are unaware that the material could be in ceilings, ducts or on floors.

Nancy Dyck recalls the loss she felt last December when she walked into her home, stripped of its furnishings. Gone were the carpets, drapes and sofa. Gone, too, were her son's favorite toy, a stuffed lion, and all of her family's clothing, even her wedding dress.
Everything that she, her husband and two children owned made of fabric was gone for good. It had been bundled into an airtight container by workers in spacesuit garb and trucked to a toxic waste dump in Arizona.
The reason was that Dyck's home, which had undergone some remodeling, accidentally had been contaminated by workers with asbestos, the potentially cancer-causing material commonly used in houses and other buildings constructed before 1979.
"We lived and ate and slept in it and it makes my skin crawl," Dyck said.
Dyck's experience is extreme, but not unusual. While much of the concern about asbestos exposure has focused on schools, airports, office buildings and other public places, environmental experts say that many homeowners are unaware of the pollution danger lurking where they live.
Awareness of the problem is growing as more homeowners remodel homes built in the '60s and '70s. Sometimes these do-it-your-self handymen--or the small contractors they hire--do not realized--or deliberately ignore--that the textured ceiling they scape contains asbestos, or the vinyl floor they rip up is composed of or bonded with asbestos material, or the old heating ducts they replace are wrapped in asbestos insulation.
Such ignorance can result in disaster--resulting in exposure to airborne asbestos, which can be inhaled and ultimately cause health problems, and requiring a costly cleanup by professional asbestos-abatement crews.
Government agencies are slowly coming to recognize the problem of asbestos in the home. As of Jan. 1, California law requires sellers of property to provide a written disclosure of known toxic hazards, including asbestos, to home buyers. An asbestos inspection costs about $125 to $150. A few mortgage lenders also are beginning to require professional asbestos inspections in single-family homes. Ian Campbell, senior vice president of Great Western Bank, said the Los Angeles-based institution is developing a new policy that may include an asbestos inspection in its appraisals of residential property.
So far, however, asbestos-abatement contractors say they get the vast majority of their homeowner referrals not from lenders or brokers but from heating-system installers and other contractors who discover asbestos in the course of their work.
Even so, licensed abatement contractors contend that a great many unqualified contractors are still working with asbestos out of ignorance or because they don't want to forfeit potential income.
Under another new state law, all home renovations where the amount of asbestos being removed is greater than 100 square feet must be reported to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which inspects job sites. Also, a contractor removing asbestos from residences must be certified by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
An uncertified contractor who removes asbestos is subject to fines of up to $25,000 a day.
"I would say 10% of contractors in California are actually complying with the law," said Joseph McLean Jr., vice president of P.W. Stephens, an asbestos-abatement contractor based in the City of Industry.
The proper removal of asbestos "is not cheap," McLean observed. Removing heating ducts in a 1,500-square-foot home might run $2,000, he said, and removing a gravel-textured asbestos ceiling for "a smooth look" can cost an additional $5,000.
But asbestos experts note that a homeowner who gets his property inspected for asbestos before remodeling can avoid a much greater financial burden and health hazard. And in many instances, the best choice is to leave the asbestos where it is.
Carol Raczka is happy to have spent $177.50 recently on the services of a licensed asbestos-inspection firm before remodeling her two-story house in Cowan Heights in the hills north of Tustin. Ultimately, she decided not to remove the asbestos vinyl on her kitchen floor and instead to lay a new wood floor over it. And she learned that she has asbestos in her heating-duct insulation that should be removed if it deteriorates.
Raczka said she believes the price of inspection was "very reasonable for the safety of my family." She said she is warning her neighbors about asbestos, "but some have already ripped up their vinyl flooring so they can't do anything about it. People aren't aware of the problem. They almost don't want to know."
Dyck wishes she had known more when she hired a company to put a new roof on her home last August. The roofers, she said, dislodged sand, gravel and fiberglass that fell through slats into the house.

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