Asbestos testing is an essential process if you are concerned about the presence of this dangerous material in your home. This is the only method for confirming or dispelling your fears. In general, this process involves collecting a sample of building material from your building and sending it to a lab for analysis. Under ideal circumstances, you should hire a licenced asbestos specialist to identify high-risk materials and take samples for testing. However, it is possible to handle the work yourself. If you opt for a hands-on approach, you must be cautious to avoid harming yourself and your loved ones. Here are some core precautions for promoting efficiency and safety when testing a house for asbestos.
Choose Your Laboratory
You should have a clear plan for handling the asbestos sample after collection. In simple terms, it is essential to choose a suitable lab for testing before cutting out pieces of building materials from your home. For the best results, look for an accredited institution which deals primarily with asbestos issues. When you select a lab, consult the technicians on their guidelines for sending in DIY samples. For instance, inquire about the optimal quantity, preventing contaminations and transporting the materials safely.
Shut Down the HVAC
It is crucial to shut down your heating, cooling and ventilation systems before beginning the sample collection process. Asbestos is a fibrous material, which means that particles might scatter if exposed to external air movement from the HVAC. Shutting own these appliances will ensure that the dangerous particles will not be distribute around your home once you disturb the suspected building elements with the asbestos.
Use Protective Wear
You should always wear protective wear when dealing with the suspected asbestos materials in your home until the laboratory confirms absence of the mineral. The protective wear should cover all areas of your body because the fibres are significant irritants. Under normal circumstances, you should wear coveralls and gloves to avoid contact with your skin. The eyes should also be concealed by safety goggles. In addition, acquire a respirator to avoid breathing in irritants.
Keep Materials Wet
Finally, you should use a little moisture to keep the fibres and particles in the suspected materials from spreading around your workspace. When cutting out a sample from the building structure, it is inevitable that some particles will be released. A light spray of slightly soapy water will keep the release of particles controlled. Cut your sample with pliers with care, and avoid disturbing the area more than necessary.